It has been 1.2 years since the death of one of the biggest EDM artists to ever live, Avicii. Today is the release of his highly anticipated posthumous album ‘TIM‘. Hearing the album, the emotions as a fan are the exact same ones from the moment we found out of his passing. It is impossible to listen through ‘TIM’ without getting emotional, goosebumps, and/or happiness.
The posthumous album by the Swede contains IDs from previous years which were near completion. The likes of Carl Falk, Vargas & Lagola, Albin Nedler, Kristoffer Fogelmark, and other producers took those tracks to the home stretch to deliver the completed product:
1. Peace Of Mind (feat. Vargas & Lagola)
The first song of the album features recurring vocalists and producers of ‘TIM’, Vargas & Lagola. The anthemic-like track delivers an Arabic vibe with guitars and strings. The track then develops into a laidback drop with a classic string-like Avicii catchy melody. The lyrics, like most of the album, make the listener question Avicii’s feelings and state of mind. In this song, we hear repeatedly: “Do you want to release?” “Do you want to get free?” “Do you want to let go?” This song is about having a break from the fast-paced society we live in. Overall, Vargas & Lagola’s vocal tone paired with the music provokes an intimate feeling with the listener.
2. Heaven (feat. Chris Martin)
At last. The most anticipated song from the album featuring no other than Coldplay‘s front-man Chris Martin. This track is by far one, or the most emotional one on the album.
“I think I just died and went to heaven”
Those lyrics shocked everyone when the news of Tim’s death surfaced. These type of lyrics are the ones that make the fans realize the troubles he faced. The piano chord progression is probably the most memorable of the album and draws at that classic Avicii style. There was a big debate on the vocals of either having Chris Martin or Simon Aldred. In my opinion, Chris Martin does a spectacular job with the vocal performance. His voice, like in any Coldplay song, is raw and emotional. We can hope, and expect this song to reach high in the charts.
3. SOS (feat. Aloe Blacc)
The first single from the album to release, ‘SOS’, features incredibly vulnerable lyrics as it sheds light to Tim’s substance abuse. The contrast between the sad lyrics with the happy ‘Caribbean/Arabic’ melody is unique. This track draws towards the pop side of the album. In just 2 months, the single has reached over 100 million streams on Spotify. This seems to be the route the rest of the album will take. There is no better person to have on vocals for this track than Aloe Blacc. A person who has worked with Tim’s biggest records and knows how Tim liked things being done in the studio.
4. Tough Love (feat. Agnes, Vargas & Lagola)
The second song from the album to release, ‘Tough Love’, showcases the talent and genius mind of Avicii. Just as he did with his chart-breaking single ‘Wake Me Up‘, Tim pushed the boundaries of genres. By combining an Arabic violin melody with dance elements ‘Tough Love’ delivers the best of both styles. Vargas & Lagola’s vocals fit perfectly into the production in companion with Agnes. The lyrics speak about the ups and downs of a relationship, and how it requires two people to make it work. Just like many who listened to Avicii’s album ‘True‘, people will need more than a single listen for the song to grow in them and be able to fully comprehend the production.
5. Bad Reputation (feat. Joe Janiak)
‘Bad Reputation’ was one of the tracks Tim worked on with Carl Falk. The co-producer who took this album to its final stage worked off the chord progression and synth Tim left behind. The song features that plucky tropical house/pop vibe from Avicii’s prior album ‘Stories‘. Moreover, the classic Avicii blues ‘melodic language’ on the melody is what drives the track. Carl Falk finished this track based off on past projects with Tim. Using the same FX, style, and sounds Carl was able to bring Avicii’s sound to ‘Bad Reputation’ featuring Joe Janiak.
6. Ain’t A Thing (feat. Joe Janiak)
Recurring singer of the album Joe Janiak appears in another melodic heavy track by Avicii. ‘Ain’t A Thing’ features an uplifting chord progression with a catchy, plucky, short classic Tim melody. This track was written when Tim was trying to find himself and what he wanted to produce. This track is a special one in the album as it is filled with Avicii’s feelings. Moreover, we can hear in the vocal the pure energy and raw emotion Tim was trying to convey.
7. Hold The Line (feat. A R I Z O N A)
‘Hold The Line’ is one of the stellar songs from the album as it is a major collaboration with the American rock band A R I Z O N A. The production yells Avicii with the uplifting chord progression, the classic Avicii arp in the background, and unique brassy drop which draws inspiration from the album ‘Stories’. The lyrics in this track are profound, impactful, and personal. Moreover, the lyrics could be a letter to Tim himself:
We don’t get to die young
Trouble keeping our head sometimes
We just have to push on
We don’t get to give up this life
8. Freak (feat. Bonn)
‘Freak’ is a unique track of the album. Where to start? Composing credits are given to Sam Smith and Bon Iver. Additionally, Tim went back to his music producing roots and sampled a 1950s Japanese song for the main melody of ‘Freak’. The song delivers strong lyrics about awareness of being different. The production delivers the classic Avicii pop chords with an uplifting chord progression in the drop. ‘Freak’ has a similar style to ‘Waiting For Love‘. All in all, this is a star-studded track with composing credits to two huge artists and an infectious melody.
9. Excuse Me Mr. Sir (feat. Vargas & Lagola)
Undoubtedly, this track is one of the most experimental ones in the album. This track was written when Tim did not know where to head musically and ended up creating a fusion of different genres. ‘Excuse Me Mr. Sir’ delivers a track combining hip-hop, rock, and electronic elements. With a fast classic Avicii melody and a beautiful acoustic progression, Tim creates a genre-breaking stew. With this track, we see the talent of Vargas & Lagola and how they are able to do anything musically. There is no doubt why Avicii and the duo worked closely together.
10. Heart Upon My Sleeve (feat. Imagine Dragons)
This song contains one of the most memorable melodies in the album and a fan favorite (as it was previously released as an instrumental). This new re-vamped version of ‘Heart Upon My Sleeve’ contains the amazing voice of Imagine Dragons‘ frontman Dan Reynolds. Furthermore, this new version has a different arrangement than the version from Tim’s first album ‘True’. This atmospheric track delivers an orchestral drop filled with incomparable energy. Matching that energy is Dan’s vocals which will lead this song to the charts.
11. Never Leave Me (feat. Joe Janiak)
The story behind this song is heartbreaking. ‘Never Leave Me’ was the last song Tim wrote before dying. Just two days before flying to Oman (where he tragically died) Tim, Albin Nedler, and Kristoffer Fogelmark wrote this love song about the fear of goodbyes. ‘Never Leave Me’ is on the chiller side of things in the album in comparison to the other tracks. It takes a modern ballad form and provokes a stream of emotions to run within the listener. This is the last track in the album we see Joe Janiak be part of.
12. Fades Away (feat. Noonie Bao)
The last track of the album features the singer from ‘I Could Be The One‘, Noonie Bao. No better way to close the album than with an emotionally driven vocal written by Tim. Moreover, the track is driven by the fast-paced orchestral riff in the drop with a slower breakdown creating a double-tempo feel. The chord progression in the breakdown will pull at the emotions of the listeners. The idea of this song started with the line:
Don’t you love it how it all just fades away?
It is sad to see most of these songs from the album were rooted from a dark state of mind. Yet, Tim found a way to make them beautiful.
There are no words to describe the beauty of ‘TIM’. The recurring theme of the album is that of someone who is coming back to live and escaping the past. With the lyrics in several songs, we can see this theme which is very fitting for Tim and his past. Furthermore, we hear a unique contrast in some of the songs which contain dark and sad lyrics with a happy musical composition.
Undoubtedly, ‘TIM’ features Avicii’s classic melodic textures and fast note melodies. We get a rollercoaster of emotions, energy, and a unique palette of Avicii’s sound. This album feels exactly what Avicii’s next step would have been in his musical career. It is up to the listeners to create their own translation of the lyrics and what they may have meant to Tim. EDMTunes wants to thank the Bergling family, Carl Falk, Vargas & Lagola, Albin Nedler, Kristoffer Fogelmark, and all the people who were involved in the making of ‘TIM’. May his legacy live forever and may his music continue to shine through future generations. All proceeds of the album will be donated to the Tim Bergling Foundation for mental health awareness and suicide prevention. Listen to ‘TIM’ down below:
◢ ◤ Tim Bergling; 1989 – Forever