EDM as a pop music staple seems to be lightening its load as radio and the major players are expanding to include other styles of music. Even the heavyweights of EDM themselves are playing outside the box judging by the sounds of Avicii‘s first full-length album True.
By now, the first single Wake Me Up has made its rounds as it makes its way to the top of the charts. It’s soulful folktronica with vocals by Aloe Blacc and one of the most interesting sounding hits of the year.
Folk isn’t the only genre Avicii plays with. Hey Brother is a country tune over a light beat underneath, with guitars and twangy vocals by Dan Tyminski, songwriter and musician of Alison Krauss‘ backing band Union Station. It’s not as natural sounding as Wake Me Up and comes off sounding awkward but the idea that the two often-opposing genres can work together like this has so much potential.
The album quickly ventures off into other directions. American folk singer Audra Mae‘s vocals resembles the smokiness of Adele as she sings on several tracks, including Addicted To You. Meanwhile, Danish musician Mø pulls off a likeness to Lana Del Rey on Dear Boy.
The album picks up midway through with Shame On Me, a sassy almost Queen-like tune that features the immortal Nile Rodgers, along with Mae and Swedish jazz/soul singer Salem Al Fakir, who also sings on the alternative pop/indie-sounding track, and second single, You Make Me.
Rodgers stays around for the Adam Lambert-led Lay Me Down, which is the album’s next best sure bet for a hit.
Toward the end, Avicii goes for a larger sound on Heart Upon My Sleeve and Edom, both of which sound like soundtracks to a time-traveling fantasy-adventure movie. Big and wondrous.
True is all over the place but it does feel like a big club party that is welcoming to everyone. Avicii is attempting to come up with something new and interesting with the genre he calls home and for the most part, he pulls it off.
It’s not necessarily the type of music you’d expect, or maybe even want to hear on the dancefloor in some cases, but he covers a lot of ground with this record with a focus that extends beyond the reach of the club floors. Avicii is one DJ/producer who is planning for the longterm.
1. Wake Me Up
2. You Make Me
3. Hey Brother
4. Addicted To You
5. Dear Boy
6. Liar Liar
7. Shame On Me
8. Lay Me Down
9. Hope There’s Someone
10. Heart Upon My Sleeve
11. Long Road To Hell