Sweden’s melodic magician Avicii has finally released ‘Stories’, one of the most highly anticipated albums of the year. Following the success of his ‘True’ album back in 2013, it is the Swede’s second studio album, and Avicii himself has described it as being ‘a lot more song orientated’. Over the two years that have followed since the release of his debut album, we have seen how Avicii’s style of productions have moved from the melodic, euphoric sounds of ‘Levels’ and ‘I Could Be The One’, to his newfound country-pop infused form of dance music through hits such as ‘Wake Me Up’ and ‘Hey Brother’. If there’s one thing that this album has confirmed, it is that Avicii certainly no longer constraints himself to the classic form of ‘EDM’ that we have become accustomed to hearing. He has evolved into a producer who wants to take the listener on a journey; the tracks on ‘Stories’ range from cinematic, to atmospheric, to emotional, to feel-good. Avicii shows how he has truly become one of today’s most diverse producers.
The album kicks off with the massive hit ‘Waiting For Love‘, a track which should be familiar to most Avicii fans by now, and which will no doubt go down as one of the biggest tracks of the year. Featuring the incredible vocals of Simon Aldred, and co-produced by none other than Martin Garrix, it is one of the more up-beat tracks from the album, with its addictive lead melody that we have come to expect from Avicii’s progressive tracks.
‘Talk To Myself‘ is a genre-infused track that mixes old school disco sounds with a tropical house vibe. What really shines through in this track how well the instruments, melodies and chords interact with each other in a catchy and innovative way. Up next we have ‘Touch Me‘, which also some Daft Punk disco vibes to it, with some underlaying piano chords and the unforgettable vocals which dominate the track.
‘Ten More Days‘ sparks the beginning of the atmospheric tracks; this song sounds like something straight out of a movie soundtrack, but yet it still infuses electronic synths and sounds with acoustic instruments. It showcases how versatile Avicii’s productions have become. Whilst ‘For A Better Day‘ is a piano-driven, up-tempo track that has been getting some increasing radio play since it’s release on August 28th. ‘Broken Arrows‘ is another track that will certainly be gaining some radio airtime in the near future; it is a melodic track filled with chords and pluck and combines with some country western style vocals to create a seriously feel good vibe throughout. The synths in this one are reminiscent of ‘Hey Brother’.
Up next is ‘True Believer‘, which features some atmospheric chords at the break, before the piano takes over in the build up and we arrive at the electric drop as the lead synths combine with a catchy beat. ‘City Lights‘ is a track that may be familiar to some long term Avicii fans, as it was first premiered at the Hollywood Bowl back in 2013, and it certainly has a more old school Avicii sound to and follows a more tradition progressive house structure than other tracks on the album. The second half of this track in particular is incredible, where the Swede breaks it down to a simple piano and vocal, before the high-octane supersaws return in a way that will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and the massive snares lead us to the emphatic drop. This is the melodic Avicii track that so many have been longer for lately.
We once again hear the versatility of Avicii in ‘Pure Grinding‘, which in some ways may be described as mainstream trap. The vocals are fantastic in this track and really add to the instense atmosphere that the synths create. Avicii returns to a more progressive sound in ‘Sunset Jesus‘, which may just be our favourite track from the album. The lead melody is emotional and seriously infectious, so with the addition of the filtered vocals and drums and you’ve got yourself another feel good track. Next up is ‘Can’t Catch Me‘, which is a pretty inventive combination of reggae and dance music. It has a pretty chilled vibe and features some impressive vocals from Wyclef Jean.
As we near the album’s conclusion, ‘Somewhere in Stockholm‘ provides us with an emotional, cinematic track. These vocals take us on a journey, and the elegant violins combine to create a feeling inside us that it seems Swedish producers are the best at creating. ‘Trouble‘ returns to the country-dance style of music that Avicii has become renowned for, with its acoustic guitars and electric leads. The album concludes with ‘Gonna Love Ya‘, another track which has a tropical vibe to it during the break, but the unique leads at the drop once again show Avicii’s productional creativity, which really shines through throughout this album.
Avicii – ‘Stories’ is available for purchase here.