Instead of following 2012’s erratic “18 Months” with music exploring new dimensions, superstar DJ Calvin Harris’s fourth record is mostly bereft of real invention. Harris has mainstreamed his sound so much that it barely maintains his fingerprints anymore. Collaborations with guest vocalists fail to maximize their talents or cast them in new light. The best tracks come via work with other producers, especially R3hab on the aptly titled “Burnin” and “It Was You” with Dutch duo Firebeatz. Most of the drops on the 15-track disc disappoint; too many songs never truly take off. There are some very unholy alliances with guest vocalists, who are poorly served. Gwen Stefani barely registers over standard issue EDM tropes on “Together,” stranded with a track that fails to accentuate her playful charm. The previously released instrumental “C.U.B.A” is recycled for a dispiritingly primitive Big Sean getting spiteful on “Open Wide.” “Pray to God,” featuring Haim, is a nice change of pace and by far the best pairing. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Burnin”Ken Capobianco can be reached at email@example.com.