Music reviews

EDM with a twist

Swedish DJ Avicii (Tim Begling), the alter ego of David Guetta, is a social media phenomenon. In 2011, Avicii released “Levels”, which became a huge mainstream hit, greatly increasing Avicii’s popularity.

The song contains a vocal sample from the 1962 gospel-inspired “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” by Etta James. He had a string of hit singles including “Seek Bromance”, “Fade Into Darkness” and “I Could Be The One”. But the 24-year-old became EDM’s (electronic dance music) biggest star with “Wake Me Up”.

True is his debut album, on which he fuses many genres with back-to-back hits. There are clear influences of trance, electro, pop, country, folk, blues, house and jazz.

The opening track, by now quite popular, “Wake Me Up”, has a guitar intro by Mike Einziger of Incubus. It is a catchy and upbeat folk tune that sounds more like a country remix than an EDM track. “You Make Me” has a catchy melody, piano chords and rousing choruses, while “Hey Brother”, with a country tinge, is similar to the opening track.

“Addicted to You” has bold vocals by Audre Mae, which one could mistake for Adele. It is accompanied by piano and bass. “Liar Liar” is fuelled by rock influences. “Lay Me Down” is a disco-pop collaboration between Avicii, Nile Rodgers and Adam Lambert. “Hope There’s Someone” has a rousing tune and a melodramatic soundscape. It is sung gorgeously by Swedish artiste Linnea Henriksson. “Heart Upon My Sleeve” alternates between country inflection and orchestral grandeur.

The soundscape in Avicii’s debut album is genre defying and throws the conventional rule book to the winds. In the EDM genre, it could well be termed as a groundbreaking album.

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