Before sitting down and taking some time out of my day to check out Avicii’s new album, True, I was dreading the task. I had always liked what Tim produced (I mean who doesn’t like Levels?), however I was never a fan of his live performances. Nothing seemed to pop out at me, so I stayed away from any stage that boasted his name at any music festival I attended. He seemed to be following the cliché mainstream bandwagon everyone else was riding, and that was not my style. So naturally, when I heard Wake Me Up for the first time on Sirius XM, I was not impressed. I didn’t give it the time of day, and the whole “country” feel had me shivering in my seat.
Then it happened: True came out screaming on September 13th. People everywhere were tweeting, posting Facebook statuses, and talking about how impressive this album was. Deciding to broaden my horizons, I gave it a listen on Spotify today. Here’s what I thought.
Wake Me Up was the first song on the tracklist. I hesitantly listened, and told myself that this was not going to be the typical electronic music I was used to. Halfway through the song, my foot was tapping and I was singing the catchy chorus I swore I would never give a minute of my time to. In order to stay with the country feel of the album, I’m going to jump around the track numbers a little. Third on the tracklist is Hey Brother, which can only be described as taking on the style of an electronic Mumford & Sons. I’m not the biggest fan of this genre mix, however credit is due where credit is earned. The songs seamlessly blend country and electronic dance, so my hat goes off to you, Tim.
The rest of the album, quite simply, blew me away. The feelings that went into producing these songs are felt with every word in every track. Most powerful is easily Addicted To You, the shortest but most heartfelt song on this album (at least in my opinion). Audra Mae knew the direction she wanted to take this song, and she hit it. Dear Boy, Liar Liar, and All You Need Is Love all take on the classic Avicii sound his fans know and love.
Finally, we have what I like to think of as a fusion of electronic dance music and some funky soul grooves. Easily my favorite of the entire album is Shame On Me, and I am already imagining the day I can experience this song live. The feel good vibes it sends out make you want to dance around the room as in an 80’s movie dance scene. Next up to the plate is Lay Me Down, a slow and cool track for all the head bobbers out there. If you’re looking for a unique song experience, these two songs are the ones you want to start with.
I’ll end on a note Tim Berg obviously wanted to get across on this album; Heart Upon My Sleeve. The instrumentals in this song are mind boggling. From the touch of violins to the slow and steady build up, I can already imagine him opening up many performances with this blaring throughout the crowd, setting nerves over the edge and emotions through the roof. It’s clear that he put a lot of time into this specific track, and it was definitely well worth the effort.
As much as I hate to admit it, Avicii did it. He has gained my respect, and I honestly do not mind one bit. An album with this much talent deserves nothing but respect and praise. There are not many artists who are trying to change the scene, but are instead trying to keep it on a steady rise of swanky tunes and house beats. Tim has thrown a curve ball with True, and it definitely should get other artists thinking about stepping up to the plate to take the challenge he presented. Berg makes it clear that it’s gonna be a Long Road To Hell, otherwise.
Congratulations, Avicii. Much luck to you in the future!
Tracklist for True:
- Wake Me Up
- You Make Me
- Hey Brother
- Addicted To You
- Dear Boy
- Liar Liar
- Shame On Me
- Lay Me Down
- Hope There’s Someone
- Heart Upon My Sleeve
- Long Road To Hell