Although the Swedish DJ has a string of hits (most notably 2011’s "Levels") and remixes (Madonna’s underappreciated "Girls Gone Wild") and a couple of Grammy nominations, surprisingly, "True" is Avicci’s debut album.
When Avicii played tracks from his forthcoming yet-to-be titled LP at a concert last spring, fans cringed and reviews were anything but stellar. The blogosphere lit up criticizing the prominent DJ for the direction he was taking.
The new sound shied away from dance to a new folksy sound. The new tunes were country inspired dance music. Or was it dance music inspired by country? Nevertheless, Avicii’s new direction was intriguing.
The 10-track album pulls inspiration from a variety of sources and is a fusion of folk, soul, funk, disco and house music without sounding over produced and staying true to the sound Avicii fans love.
The first song, "Wake Me Up," featuring soul singer Aloe Blacc and prominent guitar by Mike Einziger of Incubus, was a global hit topping charts in 65 countries. In a similar vein, the song "Hey Brother" features the deep vocals of Dan Tyminsky of Alison Krauss & Union Station, and relies heavy on an acoustic guitar and Avicii’s slick beats. Although it sounds eerily similar to Mumford and Sons, it’s a great track.
Adam Lambert appears eight songs into the album on the club friendly "Lay Me Down" which sounds like an early 90s dance song and is divalicious.
"True" contains no lackluster tracks. The dark sounding "Hope There’s Someone" features Swedish pop singer Linnea Henriksson. Avicii collaborates with Salem Al Fakir again. Their previous song, "Silhouettes" peaked at number 4 on the US Dance Chart. Other vocalists on the album include Blonefire, Audra Mae and MØ.
What makes True stand out in the genre of electronic dance music is that Avicii successfully blends computerized sounds with actual instruments, strong lyrics and great vocals from a potpourri of singers.
Even though Avicii explores new territory, "True" stays true to his house sound that has made him one of the world’s most prominent DJs.