MU­SIC.

Sun.Star Cebu Weekend - - Contents - (AP)

Re­view: Avicii feels flat on new al­bum “Sto­ries”

AVICII, the Swedish DJ, pro­ducer and mega-hit maker, is out with his sec­ond ma­jor stu­dio al­bum “Sto­ries,” which ar­rives feel­ing like a move to­ward min­i­mal­ism within an elec­tronic dance mu­sic genre pred­i­cated on big­ger and bolder sounds. If this is a safe route, Avicii might have avoided it.

Avicii — Tim Ber­gling in real life — has seen fit to largely es­chew the by-the-book crescen­dos have be­come com­mon­place on hit-seek­ing EDM tracks. He im­plores the lis­ten­ers to hear more in­di­vid­ual in­stru­ments, pi­ano and gui­tar, and lis­ten for the story on “Sto­ries.” It’s an ad­mirable artis­tic at­tempt, but falls mostly flat as the al­bum lacks the punch of a sig­na­ture song.

“Sto­ries” gets close to the mark with “Bro­ken Ar­rows,” fea­tur­ing stel­lar vo­cals from Georgia-hewn coun­try star Zac Brown. Even bet­ter is “True Be­liever,” fea­tur­ing vo­cals and pi­ano by Cold­play’s Chris Martin. Both tracks are solid and will surely ben­e­fit fur­ther from lush remixes to come.

Un­for­tu­nately, what we get on “Sto­ries” isn’t enough. The tracks aren’t crafty enough to be ex­per­i­men­tal and are too plod­ding to get the blood pump­ing. With his hits “Lev­els” and “Wake Me Up” be­hind him, this is an un­der­whelm­ing next step for­ward for Avicii.

Un­for­tu­nately, what we get on

Sto­ries” isn’t enough. The tracks aren’t crafty enough to be ex­per­i­men­tal and are too plod­ding to get the blood pump­ing.”

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