Review: Avicii | True

Avicii | TrueGood lord, Avicii has gone the way of Guetta.  He seems to be “Crossover Spit-Balling,” bridging his easy, inoffenseive brand of EDM with pop, country and Irish folk.  Pretty much anything he can get his hands on.

When I hear a record like this, I start to wonder, is it innovation or is he simply in search of a new monster hit?  Ideally, I’d like to think that as an artist he’d push the boundaries of his music as well as the genre as a whole, but the sounds of this album seem to stress more on the latter.

To be clear: it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to actively and consciously seek out or strive for commercial success.  Money makes it possible for musicians to continue making music, touring the globe and, perhaps most importantly, avoid having to apply for hum-drum day-jobs.

“Hello, my name is Diplo, welcome to Wal-Mart.  Would you like a cart?”

However, it can seem disingenuous when the commercial success becomes the primary focus, because the quality of the music inevitably suffers, and whatever style or fingerprints the musician has are subsequently watered down to the point that it’s unrecognizable as their music.  David Guetta doesn’t have a sound.  He has a formula.  He adapts himself to appeal to the lowest common denominator and composes around that.  He will also not likely be slinging espresso at Starbucks any time soon.

There are moments on True, and even entire songs where I forget I’m listening to Avicii.  It sounds generic.  It sounds formulaic.

To be fair: Tim Berg is young.  This is his first full-length album and everything he does will inevitably be compared to “Le7els.”  He’s stretching his wings and trying to evolve.  But his previous work also proves that he knows better.  I just hope that in future releases he proves it.  Otherwise, he’s at risk of becoming a casualty of the EDM boom.

“Thank you for calling the Ikea assistance line, my name is Tim Berg, how can I help you today?”

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