Album Review: Avicii’s ‘True’

Timothy Goldrick

There are several instances in which listening to electronic dance music is painful. Its artists often convert popular hip-hop or pop songs into reckless beats that satisfy only club-druggies and wompers, but Avicii’s “True” is different.  

Sure Avicii (whose real name is Tim Bergling) can be heard in just about any city club throughout America, but his music is not about banging your head against a wall. There is actually a rhyme and reason to his projects, something that is lacking sorely from other artists in electronic dance music.

In “True,” it is all about blending different genres into a united album. It is folky, country, poppy and full of dance. It satisfies diverse tastes, making it a dance album, much like Daft Punk’s, appealing to vast groups of listeners.

Throughout “True,” the Swedish native is assisted with skillful artists such as Audra Mae, Adam Lambert, Dan Tyminski and Aloe Blocc. But even with these assorted talents it is crystal clear that Avicii is the star. Each track is produced with a beat that fits perfectly with the vocalist. The production is so carefully crafted that it is tough to find faults.

Lead track “Wake Me Up” is an ingenious mix of country and dance with an upbeat connotation that somehow perfectly blends with Blocc’s somber lyrics. The song may never reach the popularity that “Levels” did, but from a production standpoint, they are on the same playing field. Yet the real gem in “True” is “Dear Boy.” In the age of the bass drop, “Dear Boy” builds up and drops with fulfillment that to not tap your foot or jump around takes insane focus.

Avicii just does dance music well; he is interesting and has a superior understanding of the relationship between vocalists and beats.