Album Review: Avicii – AVĪCI (01)

Avicii is back in top form with his first of two EPs, the simply titled AVĪCI (01). Some of Tim Bergling’s best work in his career, AVĪCI (01) is the quintessence of the Avicii sound which made him so famous–bouyant progressive house synths, acoustic instrumentation sprinkled in, an emphasis on melody, and poetic, emotionally-powerful lyrics.

Although erroneously described as a comeback, the Swedish legend simply retired from touring last year and vowed to always make music for his fans. Bergling had been working on the EP amidst a much-deserved extended vacation after completing his Won’t Be Right Back Tour in Ibiza a year ago. He documented the creative process extensively on Instagram.

Opening track ‘Friend of Mine‘ with Vargas & Lagola is upbeat, reminiscent of his work during the Days/Nights era. ‘Lonely Together‘ is a standout track, an artistic wonder because it’s about lonely people coming together and captures the happiness of that encounter through Avicii’s characteristic upbeat sound. Rita Ora‘s softer than usual vocals offer an emotional resonance to the track, of safety and warmth.

The EP’s centerpiece is of course ‘Without You‘ with Sandro Cavazza: the track is journey of healing after a breakup and quickly became a fan favourite. ‘What Would I Change it To‘ has brief flashes of ‘Wake Me Up‘ but in a more down-tempo style, with AlunaGeorge‘s vocals reminiscent of Lost Frequencies’ chill wave. Sandro Cavazza’s other collaboration on the EP, ‘So Much Better‘ is an exclusive Avicii remix that makes a delightfully surprising foray into deep house territory.

Fans expecting classic Avicii from True will be rewarded with a release firmly rooted in what makes the producer, and now erstwhile DJ, so beloved. The sonic and stylistic experimentation of sophomore album Stories is present as well, but perhaps engages the listener more instantly.

Taking to Twitter, Bergling proclaimed:

“I will however never let go of music – I will continue to speak to my fans through it.”

AVĪCI (01) is out now on all major streaming platforms and music markets.