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Avicii a hit with “True”

Jimmy Kemper | Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Five years ago, Tim Bergling was just beginning his foray into sound mixology in his basement in Stockholm. Today, the now 24-year-old, better known by his stage name, Avicii, has successfully combined elements from a wide variety of genres to produce his first full-length album, called “True,” and has already topped the charts in more than 65 countries with his lead single from the album, “Wake Me Up.” 

Avicii first gained international attention in 2011 with his hit Grammy-nominated single, “Levels.” Featuring a vocal sample from the 1962 gospel-inspired classic “Something’s Gotta Hold On Me” by Etta James, “Levels” influenced Flo Rida’s chart topper “Good Feeling” and was remixed by notable dubstep artists Skrillex and Cazzette

Since then, Avicii has released a number of singles, collaborating with the likes of Madonna and Lenny Kravitz, but no project has been as expansive or exciting as “True.” In a move similar to Daft Punk’s with “Random Access Memories,” Avicii attempts to push the borders of EDM and finds a decent amount of success.

“True” is radically different from other EDM albums, featuring acoustic guitars, country banjos and yes, even the kazoo. It opens up with the countrified hit “Wake Me Up,” which sets the tone for a rather fun album. “You Make Me,” by far one of the better songs on this album, follows this pattern. Filled with catchy piano riffs, funky synth beats and an awesome Swedish vocal sample, this song has the potential to climb to the top of the charts. 

“Lay Me Down” is also a notable track on this album. Featuring former Daft Punk collaborator and all around excellent guitarist Nile Rodgers, as well as “American Idol’s” pop heartthrob Adam Lambert, the song’s star power does it justice and produces a successful sound. Another song featuring some serious star power is “Heart Upon My Sleeve,” in which Avicii collaborated with everybody’s favorite alternative band, Imagine Dragons, to create an intense, upbeat mood that wraps up the album.

Some songs, on the other hand, fail to please, including “Hey Brother” and “Shame on Me,” which feel rather generic and uninspired. Overall, however, this album is definitely worth a listen if you are into the EDM craze, and even more so if you are not – this seems to be the target audience Avicii is trying to find with this album, and for the most part, he reaches it. 

Contact Jimmy Kemper at jkemper2@nd.edu