Avicii - True (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
HATS (or rather caps) off to Avicii, the US DJ/producer has managed to overcome David Guetta comparisons and formulaic dance conventions to emerge as one of the more interesting dancefloor fillers of the moment.
Buoyed by the success of massive lead single Wake Me Up, which adventurously mixed up electronic dance music, soul and country and put it together with a blistering vocal from Aloe Blacc (to create one of the dance crossover anthems of 2013), Avicii now continues to confound expectation throughout his debut album, True.
And while there are still some generic floor-fillers or arms-in-the-air moments, what’s notable about True is its persistent desire to mix things up.
Hence, Shame On Me opens with a rousing rock ‘n’ roll vibe that also seems to be channelling Yello’s classic The Race, complete with a kick-ass vocal from Nile Rodgers (himself on a major career high following his recent collaboration with Daft Punk). It eventually morphs into an out-and-out dance anthem but somehow the transition works.
On Hope There’s Someone, meanwhile, a thumping dance element mixes with Linnea Henriksson’s ethereal vocals to often hypnotically effect, while Mike Einziger of Incubus adds some grit during the chorus of Liar Liar, his volatile vocals imbuing the dance elements with some welcome rock.
True, tracks like Dear Boy and You Make Me wear their dance credentials a little more blatantly on their sleeves and feel more hardcore Ibiza or Miami superclub compositions. But it’s a measure of True‘s diversity that such moments are the exception rather than the norm. Avicii seems more happy jumping between genres and fusing various elements to continually surprise and keep listeners (and dancers) on their toes.
Hence, Hey Brother, featuring a bluesy-country chorus input from Dan Tyminski, has another of those huge crossover potentials (rather like Wake Me Up) and is downright sing-along and catchy to boot, while Addicted To You, featuring Mac Davis and Audra Mae, is soulful and sultry, especially early on, before transforming into another big dance track.
Dan Reynolds, of Imagine Dragons, crops up on Heart Upon My Sleeve, another fine crossover moment that thrives on its fusion of laidback acoustic folk and euphoric dance elements (complete with cinematic string arragements). Indeed, Avicii keeps it ambitious and continually evolving right up until the end.
And while not always completely successful in everything that he does, the album does at least stay true to its principles while managing to blow a lot of other contemporary dance anthems away. Expect it to be huge.
Download picks: Wake Me Up, Hey Brother, Shame On Me, Hope There’s Someone, Heart Upon My Sleeve