True (Avicii album)

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True
Avicii - True (Album).png
Studio album by Avicii
Released 13 September 2013 (2013-09-13)
Length 48:37
Label
Producer
Avicii chronology
True
(2013)
Stories
(2015)
Singles from True
  1. "Wake Me Up"
    Released: 17 June 2013 (2013-06-17)
  2. "You Make Me"
    Released: 30 August 2013 (2013-08-30)
  3. "Hey Brother"
    Released: 9 October 2013 (2013-10-09)
  4. "Addicted to You"
    Released: 27 November 2013 (2013-11-27)
  5. "Lay Me Down"
    Released: 21 April 2014 (2014-04-21)

True is the first studio album by Swedish DJ Avicii. It was released on 13 September 2013 through PRMD Music and Universal Island. True features collaborations with Adam Lambert, Audra Mae, Salem Al Fakir, Dan Tyminski, and Aloe Blacc. Guitarists Nile Rodgers and Mike Einziger (lead guitar of Incubus) appear on Wake Me Up and Lay Me Down. Avicii said that sonically, the album would move away from his electronic dance and house music sound on previous records, by incorporating elements of other genres such as country music. True is preceded by the release of the Blacc-assisted "Wake Me Up!" that topped several charts around the world, and "You Make Me", which features vocals from Swedish artist Salem Al Fakir.

The album has been commercially successful, peaking within the top ten of at least ten countries. True debuted at number two in the United Kingdom during September 2013, and has subsequently re-peaked at number two in February 2014.[1][2] On 24 March 2014, Avicii released a remixed version of the album, titled True (Avicii by Avicii).

A 2-disc edition, comprising the standard 10-track "True" alongside the remix album was released featuring a brand new cover, in June 2014.[3]

Background[edit]

Swedish producer Avicii had been making music since he began remixing and producing tracks in his own bedroom at the age of 18.[4] He started life as a professional musician in 2007, and after numerous collaborations with other record producers and DJs, such as John Dahlbäck and David Guetta, Avicii reached international mainstream success with his 2011 single "Levels", which reached the top ten in over fifteen countries and topped the charts in Norway, Hungary and Sweden.[5] Subsequent releases "Silhouettes", which charted in eleven countries, and "I Could Be the One", which charted in twenty-four countries, achieved similar popularity and sales before Avicii entered the recording studio in late 2012 to record a debut studio album to follow up his mainstream success. Aloe Blacc, who features his vocals on the first single Wake Me Up was brought in contact to Avicii by Linkin Park's co-vocalist Mike Shinoda who is a good friend of Avicii.[6]

Composition[edit]

Since starting work on a studio album, Avicii has stated on multiple occasions that the material on the album will not be a replication of his earlier hits like "Levels" and "Silhouettes" but rather an experimental and more synthetic record.[7] In his own words, he wanted to bring "disruption" to the electronic dance music scene, which he described as "half stuck". Speaking to music magazine Billboard about the new album, Avicii said in response to an earlier conflict at the Ultra Music Festival that he wanted to "bring 15 minutes of something fresh to break [Ultra] up." In context to the listener's reactions to the heavy bluegrass and country music influences, he additionally stated, "We knew people would be provoked". He further explained that TRUE “is about me being true to my sound but also to my own influences and musical preferences. For me it will be successful if it resonates with people – no matter how many. It's what I stand for, so whoever loves it loves what I love. That's what fans are to me."[8][9]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[10]
Digital Spy 3/5 stars[11]
Entertainment Weekly B[12]
Hitfix B[13]
Newsday B+[14]
PopMatters (7/10)[15]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[16]
Slant Magazine 0.5/5 stars[17]
Spin (8/10)[18]
Sputnikmusic 2/5[19]

True received generally positive reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 69, based on seven reviews, which indicates "generally positive reviews".[20]

Philip Sherburne from Spin magazine gave the album a positive review. In his review of True, Sherburne said "Avicii inhabits his newfound country-pop shtick so naturally that you may wonder whether he somehow internalized Ralph Lauren's aesthetic, or whether 'going country' was part of the business plan all along... It may be a sprawling hodge-podge, but all this works more often than you'd expect."[18] Rolling Stone‍ '​s Caryn Ganz also gave the album a positive review, complementing the diversity of the guest musicians. In her review, Ganz said "Dan Tyminski of Union Station sings the grand Appalachian stomper "Hey Brother," and Imagine Dragons penned "Heart Upon My Sleeve." True saves room for two funky disco jams featuring banging diva vocals from Audra Mae and Adam Lambert. All of this proves that Avicii's new sound is much more than a page from Moby's Play book.[16] PopMatters's Francesca D'Arcy-Orga agreed, saying that "Avicii takes his listeners on a journey with True... it is an album that takes one type of music and moulds it into something completely different, allowing Avicii to cement himself as one of the best DJs in the world.[15]

However, David Jeffires of AllMusic gave the album a mixed-positive review, saying "country music and bluegrass keep winding their way into the album, and while it rarely smacks of a gimmick, these rustic numbers often evolve into EDM around their drum machine-introducing choruses, as if True was a remix album commission Avicii picked up while vacationing in Appalachia. In the end, it's an admirable and interesting effort where the highs offset the lows, but those with molly in hand and dancing shoes on feet should just cool their jets and get ready to sit a spell."[10] Blue Sullivan's review for Slant Magazine only awarded the album 0.5 out of five stars, saying that "Fans will likely write this off as churlish hatred of pop EDM, but there are other artists that are more than capable of arousing genuine dance-floor thrills: Deadmau5 (#5 on Forbes's list), Afrojack (#7), and Kaskade (#9) are all capable of spinning sinuously lush, sexy, and even surprising music. Morever, these artists' best material convincingly conveys something Avicii's work rarely does: a bone-deep love of this music and a palpable desire to create art their beloved EDM ancestors would be proud of."[17]

Promotion[edit]

In April 2013, Avicii released a 60-minute promotional mix of new album material on the online audio distribution platform SoundCloud. The mix featured several unreleased tracks from the album like "Wake Me Up" and songs featuring Dan Reynolds and Mac Davis, and has been played over three million times.[21] According to Billboard, the album was due for release on 17 September 2013.[8]

Ultra Music Festival[edit]

The Ultra Music Festival in Miami's Bicentennial Park, where Avicii showcased material from True.

Avicii performed at the 2013 Ultra Music Festival on March 22, 2013, revealing nearly forty minutes of new album material from True, to which he received a mixed to negative response from critics, fans and media alike. The new material, which incorporated bluegrass and country music elements, and included live performances from Aloe Blacc, backed by a banjo and kazoo, saw a negative response at the festival, whose attendees criticized the DJ for bringing the experimental material to a high-profile electronic dance music festival.[22][23] Some fans and following musicians also took to social media sites like Twitter to bash the performance.[24][25] Dubstep/electro house musician Jake Stanczak, better known as Kill the Noise, tweeted: "What are the similarities and differences between Avicii and Al Walser? Discuss."[26] Producer Tommie Sunshine tweeted: "I just listened to @Avicii's @ultramusic Festival Main Stage set; did he jump the #EDM shark?"[27]

However, fans and high profile musicians were quick to support Avicii and praise his performance at the Ultra Music Festival. German producer Zedd said in response to a negative comment about the performance, "I only heard a couple of those country-sounding tracks and I really liked them!"[28] Avicii's manager Ash Pournouri stated on Twitter: "So proud of @Avicii set at @ultramusic. Everyone will understand in a week. Stay calm and keep hyping the album."[29]

On 26 March, Avicii went on Facebook to respond to the negative reaction to the Ultra Music Festival performance.[30][31] He stated in an extended response, "we wanted to make a statement, and theres really no better place to make one than UMF mainstage. People will soon see what it's all about. [...] My music is open to anyone who wants to listen to it and I will always stay true to my sound. Love you all who listen with open hearts and open minds. These past few months I've been so lucky to have had the chance to work with so many talented artists and to bring them there when I launch the album was amazing and they all did an amazing job."[32]

True Reveal[edit]

On 13 August 2013, Avicii premiered his #TrueReveal project. Avicii's management set up an experiment, featuring a glass cube, of which was surrounded by large speakers, and in the cube contained the album artwork for True. Twitter users could tweet a true meaning about themselves using the hashtag #TrueReveal, and the more users who did this, the more volume of Avicii's second single from the album was directed at the glass cube, until it would break, releasing the album artwork. The experiment ended at 3:29 PM EST the following day. The experiment achieved over 100,000 tweets at 3:13, but the glass still did not break. A crane was called in and a worker threw the hook of the crane into the glass, breaking it, and revealing the album cover.

Later on, the second part of True Reveal was announced. "Track Ambassador" is a project that aims to make 15-second teasers on Instagram to each song on the album. The most voted teasers will be selected as the official ones and the creators will be involved in the making of the official full music video. The winners were revealed on 17 September 2013.

Liar Liar contains a sample of Avicii's own song Speed which was later remixed with Wake Me Up.

True (Avicii by Avicii)[edit]

On February 17, 2014, manager Ash Pournouri, confirmed through his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages that Avicii is due to release a remix edition of True,[33] containing a remake of all the tracks in True remixed by Avicii himself, however, "Heart Upon My Sleeve" was not remixed. On February 20, it was confirmed that the remix edition was due to be released on 24 March 2014.[34]

Singles[edit]

"Wake Me Up" was released as the lead single from True on 17 June 2013.[35] The song was first premiered on Pete Tong's show on BBC Radio 1 on 14 June 2013.[36] The song, which features vocals from Aloe Blacc, charted on 20 national singles charts, peaking at number one in ten countries, including the Australian ARIA Charts, the Swedish Sverigetopplistan charts and the UK Singles Chart. The song has also peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100.

"You Make Me", featuring vocals from Swedish soul/pop singer Salem Al Fakir was revealed as the album's second single on 16 August 2013, when it received its worldwide radio premiere on Pete Tong's BBC Radio 1 dance music show.[37] The single was released in Australia and New Zealand on August 30, 2013[38] and was scheduled in the United Kingdom for September 15, 2013, a day before the album's release in that region.[39] The song, charted within the top 40 in several countries including the Netherlands, Germany, Australia and Ireland. Notably, the single has peaked at number one in Avicii's home country of Sweden, the top five in the United Kingdom, and at number 44 on the Canadian Hot 100.

"Hey Brother" was serviced to radio on 9 October 2013 as the album's third single in Australia,[40][41] and on 1 October 2013 in Denmark.[42] On 28 October 2013, it was released as the album's third single in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.[43] It was released to US Triple A radio on November 18, 2013.[44]

"Addicted to You" impacted Australian radio on 27 November 2013[45][46] as the album's fourth single. "Addicted to You" had a lyric video release on Avicii's VEVO page on the 24th of January, 2014.[47]

"Lay Me Down" was released as the fifth single from True;[48] it was released to Australian radio on 21 April 2014.[49]

Other songs[edit]

"Dear Boy" is a song featuring vocals from . It is is different from most of the songs in the album as it is purely an electro house track. It was leaked into the internet in the early 2013 along with many other songs due to Avicii's Promo Mix via the names "Wildboy" and "Dance in the Water".[50] It was also thought to feature vocals from Lana Del Rey who, in fact, didn't have anything to do with the album.

"Heart Upon my Sleeve" is a country house song which featured vocals from Dan Reynolds of American band Imagine Dragons, until it was removed during its release on the album for unknown reasons.[50] It was leaked into the internet, along with "Dear Boy", via the name "Where Are You".

"Hope There's Someone" is a remix of Antony Hegarty's song of the same name, although Avicii used vocals from Linnea Henriksson. [50] Like Dear Boy, it is also purely electro house. A club mix of the track can be found in the remix album as "Hope There's Someone (Avicii by Avicii)". "Long Road to Hell" is a house song with influences from jazz. It features vocals from Audra Mae. "All You Need is Love" is a remix on a song by Ruth-Anne of the same name. It was leaked into the internet during the early 2011-2012 via the name "Summerburst ID".[51]

Track listing[edit]

TrueCD[52] / digital download[53]
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Wake Me Up"   4:09
2. "You Make Me"  
3:53
3. "Hey Brother"  
4:14
4. "Addicted to You"  
2:28
5. "Dear Boy"  
7:59
6. "Liar Liar"  
3:58
7. "Shame on Me"  
  • Bergling
  • Ash Pournouri[a]
4:13
8. "Lay Me Down"  
5:00
9. "Hope There's Someone"   Antony Hegarty
6:21
10. "Heart Upon My Sleeve"  
4:40
Total length:
46:55
Notes
  • ^[a] signifies co-producer

Remix album / CD 2 of 2-disc edition[3][edit]

True (Avicii by Avicii)[60]
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Wake Me Up" (Avicii by Avicii)
7:05
2. "You Make Me" (Avicii by Avicii)
3:02
3. "Hey Brother" (Avicii by Avicii)
6:09
4. "Addicted to You" (Avicii by Avicii)
5:32
5. "Dear Boy" (Avicii by Avicii)
5:30
6. "Liar Liar" (Avicii by Avicii)
  • Tim Bergling
  • Ash Pournouri
  • B. Driscoll
  • E. Driscoll
  • Blacc
  • Einziger
  • Dyer
5:06
7. "Shame on Me" (Avicii by Avicii)
3:56
8. "Lay Me Down" (Avicii by Avicii)
6:02
9. "Hope There's Someone" (Avicii by Avicii) Hegarty 8:08

Personnel[edit]

Vocals
Instruments
Production
  • Tim Bergling – producer, mixer
  • Stuart Hawkes – mastering
  • Arash Pournouri – co-producer
  • Mike Shinoda - producer (track 1)

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[98] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[99] 3× Platinum 45,000x
Canada (Music Canada)[100] Platinum 80,000^
Colombia (ASINCOL)[101] Gold 5,000^
France (SNEP)[102] Platinum 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[103] Platinum 200,000^
Hungary (MAHASZ)[104] Gold 1,000x
Mexico (AMPROFON)[105] Platinum+Gold 90,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[106] Gold 7,500^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[107] 2× Platinum 60,000*
Poland (ZPAV)[108] 2× Platinum 40,000*
Sweden (GLF)[109] 2× Platinum 80,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[110] Gold 15,000x
United Kingdom (BPI)[111] Platinum 300,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
France 13 September 2013 Digital download[54] Capitol Music France
Germany
Sweden
  • CD[113]
  • digital download
Universal Music
Norway
Spain Digital download[56]
France 16 September 2013 CD[116] Capitol Music France
United Kingdom
United States 17 September 2013

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