Album review: Avicii – Stories

Avicii falls with a case of second album syndrome that may have improved instrument choices but ultimately holds the record back from delivering upon its potential.

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Originally published in The Edge

Whereas Avicii’s 2013 debut album True favoured banjos in a flamboyant display of its bluegrass and country influences, his new release Stories incorporates a far wider gamut of styles. The result, however, is not dissimilar, as the variation within tracks and perplexing curation produces an incoherent yet steady album experience.

On occasions where Tim Bergling introduces uncultivated ground with Stories – and there are indeed many – contrasting styles don’t quite meld sufficiently. The trap breakdown of ‘Pure Grinding’ after bluesy mumblings on work ethic – “started out with nothing and still got most of it left” – does nothing to inspire, and its companion promotional single ‘For A Better Day’ meanders along with only a tambourine and staccato piano beneath Alex Ebert’s strained soul. The honour of the most startling track falls to ‘Can’t Catch Me,’ a nostalgic reggae duet between Wyclef Jean and Matisyahu. Continue reading “Album review: Avicii – Stories”