Don’t you just love that feeling of knowing you were right? Well, justice has been served and those people who only eight months ago accused Avicii of “trolling” the Ultra music festival are probably gorging themselves on heaps of humble pie.
Back in April, I wrote in depth about the hysteria caused by Avicii for daring to feature a live band at Ultra in Miami, which is primarily a showcase for the biggest DJ’s in the world. My take on it was that it shook up the standard DJ set for the better and showed a daring approach in an effort to stand out from the EDM crowd.
‘Wake me up’ was just one of a number of songs from Avicii’s debut album ‘True’ which put paid to any expectations of a formulaic dance album. For a DJ to feature country superstar Mac Davis (who famously wrote for Elvis Presley); Audra Mae and her Kazoo, Mike Einziger, guitarist of alternative rockers Incbus, R&B and blues singer Aloe Blacc, and Chic Founder Nile Rodgers, you must either be crazy or a creative genius. The response to True and especially Wake Me Up when it was released confirms the latter.
It went number one in over 20 countries and its probably down to it being an incredibly catchy slice of country pop. The lyrics from Aloe Blacc are inspired and the acoustic guitars and piano give off a carefree vibe. Mix in Avicii’s melodic hook and you have a country-house classic, made for outdoor festivals and cowboy line-dancing bars.
Avicii and his band of fellow musicians took a huge risk in performing a segment which strayed way past the safe boundaries of dance music. Yet they stayed true to themselves and gave the audience something truly memorable.
There may have been some dissenters at Ultra on that hot March night in Miami, but because of Avicii’s belief and perseverance, he has been vindicated and has pushed out the boat for what a DJ can now do in a ‘live’ setting.