Avicii – TIM (Album Review)
Today marks the release of Avicii‘s highly anticipated posthumous album, simply entitled ‘TIM‘. After taking his own life at the tender age of 28, the Swedish DJ and producer left behind an array of unfinished tracks. Thanks to the help of a chosen group of producers who worked closely with Tim throughout his career, 12 of his songs have been finished on his behalf. Featuring vocals from Chris Martin, Aloe Blacc and Imagine Dragons front man Dan Reynolds, the eclectic collection of the late Swede’s creations is a bittersweet listen for fans across the world.
— Tim Bergling (@Avicii) June 6, 2019
1. Peace Of Mind (feat. Vargas & Lagola)
Featuring vocals from Swedish country folk duo, Vargas and Lagola, this slowly-paced track introduces the album’s journey. Found in Tim’s notes believed to date back to April 2018, the producer writes ‘love this song as an intro or something!’, perhaps justifying why it comes first on the album. Its smooth melodies almost reflect the message that comes with this track, that society can sometimes move too fast and the need to find tranquility and a piece of mind is more important now than ever.
Arguably the most anticipated release from the album, ‘Heaven‘ features vocals from Coldplay‘s Chris Martin, making this track Avicii’s most euphoric yet. Having debuted the song back in 2016 at Ultra Miami, Heaven originally featured vocals from Simon Aldred, but the Chris Martin version is the one we hear today. This progressively euphoric track became a fan favourite amongst crowds, after Dutch DJ Nicky Romero premiered it shortly after Tim’s passing.
3. SOS (feat. Aloe Blacc)
Released early last month, ‘SOS‘ was the first glimpse of what ‘TIM’ might sound like. Since coming together for their 2013 hit ‘Wake Me Up‘, Avicii and Aloe Blacc re-united to work on this song, which was the only track found to be 90% completed before Tim passed. This high-octane melodic style reflects some earlier productions featured on his ‘True’ album, taking fans back to his golden era of music.
4. Tough Love (feat. Agnes, Vargas & Lagola)
Influenced by sounds from North-Western India, this genre-crossing track was the second single release from the posthumous album. Sampling instruments from Southern Asia in the breakdown of this song is just another example of how the Swede broke boundaries in the electronic genre. Avicii reportedly mentioned that he wanted the vocalists in this song to be between a real life couple. Fulfilling his wishes, husband and wife Vargas and Agnes collaborated for this track, portraying the ups and downs we go through in relationships.
5. Bad Reputation (feat. Joe Janiak)
This lighter more organic-African sound was again influenced by Tim’s travels, shortly after announcing his retirement from touring back in 2016. Voiced by British songwriter Joe Janiak, whose most famous work includes the multi million selling single “Don’t Leave” by Snakehips and MØ. The vibey playful drop on this track puts Tim’s music into today’s modern direction of electronic music.
6. Ain’t A Thing (feat. Bonn)
What makes this song stand out from the rest of the album is Tim’s very personal take on it’s production. The Swede solely wrote the lyrics to this track, with co-producer Carl Falk describing Tim as ‘inspired’ and ‘excited’ in the earlier stages of production. This rhythmic track mirrors Avicii’s characteristic style of bringing slower paced sounds up with his joyous melodies.
7. Hold The Line (feat. A R I Z O N A)
Tim toyed with the production of this one, as ‘Hold The Line‘ was experimented with around 20 different drops before it was finalised to the deeper, heavier sound we hear on ‘TIM’. American electro-pop group, A R I Z O N A, vocalise the song in which it’s lyrics poignantly reflect the personal battles Tim seemingly experienced.
8. Freak (feat Bonn)
Tim was browsing YouTube when he came across a Japanese pop song from 1961 entitled ‘Sukiyaki’. As a result, ‘Freak‘ samples the uplifting whistle you hear throughout, again reflecting the flavour ‘True’ and ‘Stories’ both held. Overall, this track makes an uplifting, infectious addition to the album.
9. Excuse Me Mr Sir (feat. Vargas & Lagola)
One of the most experimental on the album, this song fuses genres of hiphop and rock with elements of an electronic nature. The team of producers who finished this song on Tim’s behalf wanted to find a braggy but playful vibe and with the help once again from Vargas & Lagola this track does just that.
10. Heart Upon My Sleeve (feat. Imagine Dragons)
If that track ID looks familiar to you, that’s because it is. ‘Heart Upon My Sleeve‘ featured on Avicii’s ‘True’ album released back in 2013. Fast forward to 2019 and Imagine Dragons front man, Dan Reynolds, feels like the only suitable vocalist for this orchestral number. It was up to Dan and the team of producers to write the second verse in Tim’s absence, yet alongside the thumpy bass drop it makes this track a stand-out.
11. Never Leave Me (feat Joe Janiak)
This was the last song Tim wrote, days before he passed away in Oman back in 2018. Artistically, this song is quite simply stunning. Joe Janiak’s vocals add an emotive element to the whole song making this modern ballad a unique piece to come from the Swede, yet it works.
12. Fades Away (feat. Noonie Bao)
‘Don’t you love how it all just fades away’… a heartbreaking lyric from this closing track which features Noonie Bao, who you may recognise from the Avicii and Nicky Romero collaboration ‘I Could Be The One‘. The song poignantly reflects Tim’s entire musical career, seemingly breaking boundaries yet always managing to draw emotion from his fans.
Listen to the album below – all proceeds from the release will be donated to the Tim Bergling Foundation.