True review by Jan Gradvall for DI Weekend
”Tim does things that I, honestly, never thought of. I played a riff on the guitar, he lowers it an octave and makes it sound so funky.” The one saying this is Nile Rodgers, the genius behind Chic, a strong candidate to the Polar Music Prize. The musician he speaks about is Tim ”Avicii” Bergling.
Fall 2013 will go into history as the last time people could stand with their arms crossed mumbling things like DJs ”just push buttons” or that they don’t do ”real music”. Avicii’s debut album is such a blinding exhibition in musicality that it will kill all such prejudice.
Avicii, who will turn 24 on Sunday, (review originally published on September 6, transl. remark) has made the ”Thriller” of his generation. An album where every track is made to conquer the world. An album where every chorus points at the top of the Empire State Building and says this is where I shall stay.
Avicii has made his research in the field, tuned his craft into perfection. How many other musicians in history has played for 25 million people all over the world before they make their debut album? Avicii knows exactly what tempo changes will get hands raised to the sky.
At the same time it’s also an album that takes great musical risks. Avicii is a child of his time in the way that he makes no regards to genre. On spotify all genres -pop, disco, metal, country, soundtracks- are only one click apart. So also in Avicii’s music.
”Shame on me” starts off as a pastiche on Sweet’s glitter pop classic ”Ballroom blitz” then to mutate into the baby sister of Dolly Parton’s ”Nine to five”. ”Liar liar” is spiced with a Farfisa organ that brings the sounds of 1960th’s garage rock.
”Addicted to you” leads the mind to George Harrison’s ”While my guitar gently weeps” but is written with 71 year old ”In the ghetto” composer Mac Davis with vocals performed by a distant relative to Judy Garland from Oklahoma sounding exactly as Adele. No, I’m not making this up.
”Hey Brother” begins with one of the musicians from Alison Krauss’ Union Station standing in a field in Nashville singing country. Then the melody forces us up onto a flatbed truck filled with drunken graduates driving four laps around Sergels Torg. (wellknown square in the center of Stockholm, transl. remark) End scene: Everyone bathes in the fountain.
It is insane. It is genius.
In the midst of all this confetti exploding euphoria Avicii then all of a sudden has Linnea Henriksson as a guest vocalist sing a heartbreaking and deadly serious cover ballad from Antony & The Johnson’s second Album ”I am a bird now” from 2005. No one could have predicted that.
With this album, that may become the most played album in the world during 2013, Avicii helps several Swedish colleagues to get references that will help open doors for them internationally. A couple of the tracks are made together with two of Swedish music’s greatest talents, Salem Al Fakir and Vincent Pontare, who started to collaborate on Petter’s last album and continued cooperating on Veronica Maggio’s coming album.
Just as Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones did with ”Thriller” Avicii also erases the lines between hard an soft, masculine and feminine, black and white. The track written together with Nile Rodgers, ”Lay me down”, is sung by gay icon Adam Lambert and culminates in life-affirming italo disco that reminds of Blackbox’ ”Ride on time”.
The music on ”True” is wide open, free of prejudice. If the world were a little more like Avicii it would be much easier to like the world right now.
footnote: Avicii’s Album is released on September 12.
translation by mariehjo & HellOnHighHeels