Not the average EDM sound: Avicii album review
Published: Sunday, September 22, 2013
Updated: Sunday, September 22, 2013 14:09
Label: PRMD Music / Universal Island
Release: Sept. 13
The Swedish D.J. Avicii released his first studio album on Sept. 13 and it sounds nothing like his first global hit, “Levels,” released in 2011. While the Electronic Dance Music (EDM) sound has been flooding the radio waves for the past two years, Avicii’s newest tracks stand in a genre of their own – comprised of folk, jazz, country and dance music.
Avicii released the first track on the album, “Wake Me Up,” as a single on June 17, and it was an instant summer hit. The single, featuring soul singer Aloe Blacc, made its way to the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 list.
The rest of the album continues in a similar style, featuring various artists in each of the songs. The first three songs on the album, “Wake Me Up,” “You Make Me” and “Hey Brother,” have a country/folk sound with vocal contributions from Swedish artist Salem Al Fakir and bluegrass singer Dan Tyminski. But other tracks, such as “Shame on Me” and “Long Road to Hell,” have a fast-paced southern jazz feel.
“Heart on my Sleeve” starts off sounding like something the Backstreet Boys may have sung in the ’90s until the beat drops and it resembles “Carol of the Bells” mixed with the drums behind a hardcore song. The two styles repeat throughout one of the only songs on the album without lyrics, and somehow it all works to create what is sure to be a hit single.
The wide variety of background beats mixed with different vocal sounds gives something to almost every type of music lover. While Avicii does include techno electronic sounds in each song, staying true to the EDM style, he mixes them with a drumbeat, saxophone or piano – depending on the song.
The album concludes with the longest track on the album, “Edom,” which sounds more like what EDM fans expect – a strong build up of a simple, repetitive beat followed by the drop that causes the listener’s heart to race with no lyrics to distract from the sounds of the keyboard, violin and other instruments.
This mixture of sounds ensures the hardcore EDM crowd won’t be the only ones listening to True. Although the range of influences may appear discontinuous on paper – some wouldn’t believe a jazz-inspired song would belong next to a bluegrass-inspired one – the album moves through the 12 tracks effortlessly.
The 60 minutes of Avicii not only give listeners something to dance to, but something to sing to. The simple, repetitive and relatable lyrics are similar to EDM duo Krewella’s hit song “Alive,” in the way they are easy to remember and can be screamed at a concert or sung through a karaoke machine.
While the songs have the same theme as other pop-music hits – falling in love, finding oneself, being young and living in the moment – Avicii gives them to his fans in a creative and unexpected way.
This album is something that the young music lover can listen to in the car with his or her parents that won’t cause members of the older generation to cringe at harsh electronic sounds and yell for them to “turn down that racket.”