Stories is, without a doubt, my most anticipated album of 2015. Avicii has long been a huge source of creative inspiration for me, as well as one of my favorite musicians, so it’s fair to say that this, his sophomore album release, might very well be one of my favorite albums of all time – regardless of genre.
Let’s find out…
To start, the Swede leads with his incredibly evocative “Waiting For Love” which was co-produced by another one of my favorites, the deserved prince of EDM, Martin Garrix. It’s without a doubt one of the best tracks from the album, and you can check out my more detailed review of the single if you’re interested in reading more.
Next up is the previously unheard “Talking To Myself.” It begins with an enthralling retro synth melody and familiar percussion line before quickly transgressing into an complex four-minute groove featuring a remarkably unique vocal. The reverberated pluck drop is soft enough to fit the rest of the song, yet powerful enough to encourage me to get down like there’s no tomorrow – and I simply can’t get enough. Already setting the stage for one of the best albums of the year, this beauty of a track makes me want to boogie like the disco-days are still alive and strong. Check it out.
Avicii’s “Touch Me” is third up to bat, and effectively slows down the vibe for an intimate respite from the quick start. Focusing on a soulful female top line and mellow melodic intermissions, this song neither impresses nor disappoints. And although it is certainly not my favorite from the 14-track project, there is no doubt that the three-minute progression serves its purpose in continuing the journey and maintaining the flow throughout Stories.
At 4 is one of the early releases from Stories, entitled “Ten More Days.” Coming from “Touch Me” and moving to this quaint, genre-less affair, it becomes exceedingly obvious that the evolution of this album was curated very carefully by the Swede and his team. Enjoy my full review of “Ten More Days” as Avicii delves once more into an amalgam of folk and pop influences for this incredible acoustically powered jam.
“For A Better Day” needs no introduction. One of the two songs made available for immediate download with pre-order of this impressive project, it has already received a festival-worthy overhaul by one of the best producers of our generation, KSHMR. It also inherently astounds on its own, featuring a truly stunning music video which tells a mysteriously enchanting tale in collaboration with the uplifting original.
Lucky number 6, and what will probably the most popular song of the album, is the highly anticipated collaborative effort with the esteemed Zac Brown Band, “Broken Arrows.” A more typically “Avicii” song, this track combines folk and country influences with a typical structure and 116 bpm house percussion line akin to “Wake Me Up” or “Hey Brother.” The pounding beat and alluring melody join with Zac Brown Band’s characteristic vocals for a heavy-hitting radio anthem. To read more about the track, click here.
“True Believer” signals the halfway mark for Stories in remarkable fashion. Pulsing beneath a strong kick/clap combination emerges a bubbling, blissful synthetic melody to kick “True Believer” off in quaint fashion. Next enters an oddly catchy top line and equally quirky distorted riff that encapsulates a nostalgic, old-school vibe while simultaneously presenting modern production techniques, unique structuring and pitch-perfect mixing. This one is a pleasant surprise, no doubt.
Click the “2” below to continue to the second half of the album!