Avicii is an artist that I feel maybe had to try and win back some of his audience after his highly-talked about performance at Ultra Music Festival a few years ago. I mark that festival as the start of an era not only for him but of a change in dance music. Sure, artists have been using organic instrumentals in dance music for many years now, but this was the first time that a commercial DJ really seemed to bring this into the modern limelight, while every other artist just used 4 Pioneer CDJS, a mixer, and two USBs to perform.
True was released after Ultra, and thus truly began Avicii's career. The album incorporated grand piano fare, acoustic guitars, and soaring guest vocals in substitute for the house-anthem synths found on "Levels". And it worked well. The album charted at Number 5 overall on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 50,000 units in the first week.
Here we have Stories, Avicii's second offering. And here is where things get interesting. I noticed that, in comparison to True, more synths started to become introduced to the mix, but each song still retained that feeling of organic instrumentals that we loved about the first album. "Waiting For Love" was the perfect track to start the album, hands down. The anthemic plucked synth line is subtle but still powerful enough to become a main stage track at festivals like Ultra and Tomorrowland. "Talk To Myself" and "Touch Me" showed promising experimentations of deep house, while "Ten Days" introduced a newer side of Avicii's songwriting.
The vocal effect in "City Lights" was almost reminiscent of another dance music track from earlier this year, Zedd's "Done With Love" from True Colors. Different melodies, of course, but the effects made the vocal lines just as trance-inducing. Like "Ten Days", "Sunset Jesus" introduced a new side of Avicii, blending pop-rock and dance together into one of the best and most upbeat tracks on the record.
Stories closes with the chilled out "Gonna Love Ya". Not all of these tracks are tailored for massive festivals, but at the end of the day, that doesn't really matter. The experimentation in songwriting played well in his favor. What matters is that Avicii has had a musical awakening, invoking what appears to be a very bright future for his career.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.