Just over a year after Avicii passed away, his closest collaborators released ‘Tim’, his posthumous third album. Here’s what I thought of it.
Firstly, I want to say that I was a big fan of Avicii and he was the person that I looked up to most as I was getting into producing music myself. When I heard the news that he was gone, I was heartbroken. I did a radio show not long afterwards in which I paid tribute to Avicii and I think the words I said were, “The world of music will be less colourful without you,” followed by his song ‘Without You’.
I usually don’t like it when record companies release music from the artist after they have passed away, because I think it is in bad taste that they use it as an opportunity to cash-grab. That said, most of these tracks are said to have been 80-90% done and all the sounds and melodies were made by Avicii himself, with the only added production being the vocals (most of which are by singers that Avicii supposedly had in mind for the tracks).
I am going to be going through each of the 12 songs on the album individually and saying a few words about them.
1. Peace Of Mind (feat. Vargas & Lagola)
This songs starts out quite ethereal. It opens the album with a very reflective feel to it. I’m not taken back to the heyday of Avicii, rather I’m taken to a place of imagining Avicii sitting there, chilling out and making a good song. I really like the more orchestral elements of it; they bring a bit more emotion to the track than your typical Avicii synths.
This one immediately sounds a lot more like Avicii. It starts with a classic Avicii synth riff and piano chords that I am completely confident were made by him. Chris Martin is the voice of the track here, but I don’t know how much involvement Avicii had in choosing him; I personally don’t think he quite fits it.
The saddest part of this song is the repeated lyric “I think I just died and went to Heaven”, which is all the more poignant now, especially as the song feels like there is just something missing. It’s not quite finished.
3. SOS (feat. Aloe Blacc)
This one feels immediately like it was entirely meant to be. I don’t have much to say about it other than it feels like Avicii actually finished this one himself – a stark contrast to the previous one.
4. Tough Love (feat. Agnes, Vargas & Lagola)
I don’t know how to feel about this one. It’s a bit weird and all over the place. I know that trying out new sounds has worked out for Avicii in the past, with songs like ‘Hey Brother’, but I’m really not convinced that the choice of sounds in this song are right. I feel like if Avicii were still here, he wouldn’t have released the track as it is.
5. Bad Reputation (feat. Joe Janiak)
I absolutely love the voice on this track. I hope that Joe Janiak was chosen by Avicii, because he has the perfect voice for an Avicii track. In terms of the track itself, it’s certainly different to your typical Avicii track. That said, it doesn’t feel wrong like ‘Tough Love’. It is new, but I was smiling listening to it. This one feels right.
6. Ain’t A Thing (feat. Bonn)
This one really pushes the boundaries of what Avicii would do, I believe. The sound design is very Avicii. I have no doubt that he made most of this track, it’s just very unusual for an Avicii track. That said, I actually enjoy listening to this one a bit more towards the end. I’m not quite convinced by the lyrics, though.
7. Hold The Line (feat. A R I Z O N A)
Yes. Just yes. I love A R I Z O N A and I had an email from them earlier this week saying that they are humbled and honoured to be part of this. Damn right! My goodness, this song sounds so good! A R I Z O N A has such a beautiful vocalist (Zachary Charles) who just works perfectly with this song. Added to my library!
8. Freak (feat. Bonn)
This one is quite clearly written with Avicii in mind, or at least partly by Avicii himself. The lyrics are quite clearly written from his perspective. They focus on how it feels to be down and have scars that you want to keep hidden. The sounds themselves are also very much like Avicii. So far, this one feels the most like it was almost finished.
9. Excuse Me Mr Sir (feat. Vargas & Lagola)
I really don’t like the vocals or lyrics in this song. However, the drop in this song is so cool that I don’t care how substandard the lyrics are. This is the first one that I had no choice but to bop my head to. I have no difficulty labelling this one as a banger.
10. Heart Upon My Sleeve (feat. Imagine Dragons)
Imagine Dragons are another band that I am a big fan of. I love their style and their unique approach to songwriting. This song feels like it was meant for them, too. It really takes the album in a different direction. This is not Avicii. This is some dark anti-Avicii. I love it. Avicii, come back please. I need more of this kind of music from you.
11. Never Leave Me (feat. Joe Janiak)
Oh my gosh. This is a beautiful song. This is just a love song that I am going to treasure forever. I feel like this song will get lost and forgotten in time, so I want to just appreciate it here. If nothing else, please listen to this song at least. This one also feels like the lyrics were written entirely by Avicii himself. I’m actually glad that this music has been released now, regardless of my earlier comments about releasing music from artists that are no longer with us.
12. Fades Away (feat. Noonie Bao)
This song is not great. It is a bit of an underwhelming ending to the album and, ultimately, Avicii’s legacy. That is, until the very end of the song where it is just Noonie Bao’s chilling voice singing “It all just fades away…” How fitting.
And with that, I think it’s time to say goodbye to Avicii. We miss him and will continue to miss him for a good while yet. This album was a quality album, overall, and I think a good way to leave his legacy. I want to shake hands with everyone who finished it because, for the most part, I think they got it just right.
Featured image Copyright Universal Music.