18 Months is the third studio album by Scottish musician Calvin Harris, released on 26 October 2012 by Deconstruction Records, Fly Eye Records and Columbia Records. It is Harris's first studio album where he does not regularly provide the vocals on each song, but instead producing the music and having guest singers sing for him (save for "Feel So Close" and "Iron" with Dutch DJ Nicky Romero), as Harris stated in November 2010 he did intent to sing on his songs anymore. The album also shows a shift from Harris' usual nu disco-style songs, focusing more on an electro house style.
18 Months debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, earning Harris his second consecutive number one album in the United Kingdom. It had sold over 815,636 copies in the UK as of November 2014. The album included the singles "Bounce", "Feel So Close", "Let's Go", "We'll Be Coming Back", "Sweet Nothing", "Drinking from the Bottle", "I Need Your Love" and "Thinking About You", all of which, along with "We Found Love" featuring Rihanna, reached the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart, making 18 Months the first album in history to spawn nine top 10 singles. The songs "Let's Go" and "Sweet Nothing" were nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 55th and 56th Grammy Awards, respectively.
"Bounce" was released as the album's lead single on 10 June 2011, featuring American R&B singer Kelis. The song peaked at number two in the United Kingdom, number six in Ireland and number seven in Australia.
The second single "Feel So Close" was released on 19 August 2011, reaching number two in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and number seven in Australia. The song also became Harris's first solo single to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, reaching number 12.
"Let's Go" was released as the album's third single on 30 March 2012, and it features American R&B singer Ne-Yo. It peaked at number two in the United Kingdom, number six in Ireland and number 17 in Australia and the US. "Let's Go" received a nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 55th Grammy Awards in 2013. The track was used in Pepsi Max's Crowd Surfing TV advert.
"We'll Be Coming Back", featuring English singer and rapper Example, was released on 27 July 2012 as the fourth single from the album. It peaked at number two in the United Kingdom and number eight in Australia, while becoming both Harris's and Example's first solo single to reach number one in Ireland.
"Sweet Nothing" was released as the album's fifth single on 12 October 2012, featuring Florence Welch of English indie rock band Florence and the Machine. The song topped the charts in the UK and Ireland, becoming Harris and Welch's second collaborative number-one single, as well as the first UK chart-topper from 18 Months. It also became his highest-charting solo single in Australia and New Zealand, entering the charts at number two in both countries. In the US, the single peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Sweet Nothing" was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 56th Grammy Awards in 2014.
"Drinking from the Bottle" was released as the album's sixth official single on 27 January 2013, featuring English rapper Tinie Tempah. The song reached number five in the UK and number nine in Ireland.
"I Need Your Love", which features English singer Ellie Goulding, was released on 12 April 2013 as the seventh single from the album. The track reached number four in the UK and number six in Ireland, while charting inside the top five in countries such as Australia, Austria, Finland and Sweden. When "I Need Your Love" reached the UK top five in April 2013, Harris made chart history by becoming the first artist to attain eight top-10 hits from one studio album (including "We Found Love"), overtaking the record previously set by Michael Jackson.
"Thinking About You", featuring Ayah Marar, was released on 2 August 2013 as the album's eighth and final single. It reached number eight in the UK, number 11 in Ireland, number 28 in Australia and number 40 in New Zealand.
"Awooga" was released on 21 March 2011 through Harris's label Fly Eye Records. The accompanying music video consists of footage from his then-recent concerts in Australia.
Harris's collaboration with Nicky Romero, "Iron", was released on Beatport on 10 September 2012 by Protocol Recordings.
18 Months received generally mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 57, based on 17 reviews, which indicates "mixed or average reviews". Fraser McAlpine of BBC Music hailed the album as a "collection almost exclusively in the key of triumph", as well as "a portfolio of win for Calvin, an annual report where the graph is almost all peaks and the troughs are so far down they're practically invisible." Arwa Haider of Metro commented that "18 Months could be a capsule collection of smash singles, yet it also works brilliantly as an album. That's partly because these are never faceless anthems; its singers [...] are well judged and rise to the songs, while the catchy hooks are lovingly arranged". AllMusic's Tim Sendra wrote that the album "shows Harris to be a solid producer with an easily identifiable sound." Mikael Wood of the Los Angeles Times noted that despite the variety of male collaborators, the album "only deepens the impression that Harris is best when linked with a lady; his skills in that area are several times more developed than they are anywhere else." The Independent's Andy Gill was unimpressed by Ellie Goulding's performance on "I Need Your Love", but complimented Welch on "Sweet Nothing", and cited Harris's collaboration with Nicky Romero on "Iron" as the album's "killer cut".
Emily Mackay of the NME opined that "[t]he best collaborations stand alone, but the rest demands small hours and sweat to animate it", stating the album "feels more like a deserved victory lap than a forward step or a new instalment, but apart from his sole vocal on 'Feel So Close', the victor seems oddly absent." Killian Fox of The Observer remarked, "Nothing else on 18 Months matches up to the blockbusting collaborations with Kelis, Florence Welch and Rihanna", concluding that "Harris's production has become increasingly homogenised and, despite the array of vocalists, everything here risks sounding the same." In a review for Entertainment Weekly, Melissa Maerz complimented songs like "We Found Love" and "I Need Your Love", but found that the album does not offer "many surprises". Despite referring to Harris as a "brilliant pop craftsman", The A.V. Club's Chris DeVille felt that the album "suffers from EDM fatigue" and that "almost every track eventually congeals into the same automaton thud." Evan Sawdey of PopMatters critiqued that "while 18 Months [...] is pretty much the hit-making monster that launched [Harris] in to the world spotlight, the truth of the matter is that it feels like a rather compromised vision of who he is an artist, sacrificing his quirkiness for a brooding new persona that starts to get stale over the course of a complete full-length." The Guardian critic Rebecca Nicholson expressed that "Harris knows how to make the most of his guests, leading them through a series of euphoric bangers that seem destined for success. But for all the pop divas he has roped in, there's a veneer of cynical, laddy EDM, resulting in the kind of tracks Skrillex might come up with on an Ayia Napa booze cruise."
18 Months debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 52,356 copies, becoming Harris's second consecutive number-one album in the United Kingdom. The album fell to number four the following week, selling 34,734 copies. In its third week, it slipped to number nine on sales of 24,689 units. In early January 2013, the album returned to number one for one week before slipping to number two. 18 Months had sold 815,636 copies in the UK by November 2014.
In the United States, 18 Months sold 17,000 copies to debut at number 19 on the Billboard 200 and at number one on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart, becoming Harris's first album to enter the former chart. As of March 2014, it had sold 173,000 copies in the US. 18 Months had also sold over 25 million singles worldwide as of August 2013.
All tracks produced by Calvin Harris, except "Iron" produced by Harris and Nicky Romero; "Drinking from the Bottle" produced by Harris, James F. Reynolds and Mark Knight; "Here 2 China" produced by Harris and Dillon Francis. Vocal production on "We Found Love" by Kuk Harrell.
Credits adapted from the liner notes of 18 Months.