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on 18 November 2013
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on 26 September 2013
Apart from an unofficial remix of Lady Antebellum's Need You Now, I have never heard country music and electronic dance music in the same song before, but Avicii - famous already for dance tracks such as Levels (Original Version),Silhouettes (Original Radio Edit) and Fade Into Darkness (Vocal Edit) - seems to have successfully found the formula.

Whilst it can be debated whether or not the number one single Wake Me Up is really country music, there can be no doubt with the third track on this album, Hey Brother. You just know with some songs if they are one genre or the other, and Hey Brother is country music without question. Even though it has a beat to it and all the other EDM effects, it's more country than many country artists are now, even fused - and fused incredibly successfully - with Avicii's refreshingly diverse dance music ingredients.

It's not all country though, and the second track, You Make Me, is more in the vein of the music we've come to expect from Avicii - who is one of those rare DJ / artists who actually makes a real attempt for every track he puts out to sound unique and different from the others. Funk-tinged, infectious and offbeat, it's the second single for a very good reason.

The soul/pop of Addicted To You is an excellent gateway into what was already a fan favourite before this album even had a title - Dance In The Water, often wrongly accredited as featuring Lana Del Ray - appears here under the name Dear Boy. It's the longest track on the album, and it deserves to be, as it is possibly the best creatively and appears at that point on the album where many people listening for the first time will suddenly make the realisation that they already really love this album.

The second half of the album continues to play about with the genres, bringing funk, rock, swing and pop into the mix to various degrees on Liar Liar, Shame On You and Lay Me Down before tricking you into thinking you're entering chillout territory on the Antony and the Johnsons cover Hope There's Someone, which builds up and pulls back the beats at just the right times. The album closes with an instrumental featuring piano and strings, but if you're got the digital special edition it keeps going with Always On The Run, which is a more poppy track than any before it.

Perhaps because 10 tracks is seen as the correct amount for a "proper album", one of the other special edition tracks - once you have heard it - is conspicuous by its absence, especially because it would have also brought jazz to the album. That track is Long Road to Hell, and although you can't get it through Amazon, I'm sure Amazon wouldn't mind me recommending that you go over to i-somethingorother (am I allowed to mention it?) and download that track too.

If the type of case you get for the physical release matters to you, as it does to me, then you may be pleased to know it's not a cardboard sleeve but one of those new round-edged jewel cases.
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on 24 November 2014
Whilst Avicii is largely associated with electronic dance music (EDM), this album is a dizzying amalgam of big band, blues, country, rock and soul. And I've probably left out a couple of musical genres in that description. EDM is the common factor that is weaved into all the tracks. I've never heard anything quite like it. I can't say I'm wholly taken with every single track but there are too many which are simply so good that it would not be right to award anything less than five stars.

Top of my list is the superb 'Wake Me Up' with vocals by Aloe Blacc. This is such a moving and uplifting song: it instantly catches your attention with its country guitar rhythm, the vocals start telling the story, and you're hooked as it moves towards EDM choruses. Incidentally, the accompanying video is a visual treat and, providing you take it at face value and ignore the storyboard inconsistencies and product placement that so irks some critics, it accomplishes the rare feat of actually enhancing the song. It features the beautiful Russian super model Kristina Romanova and the über pretty American girl model Lanya Grace. It tells the story of them finding their place in society. Nigh on half a BILLION hits and counting on a certain video website testifies as to how popular this song is.

Next favourite is 'Hey Brother' with vocals provided by American bluegrass singer Dan Tyminski. Another song which captures your attention instantly, this time with its vocals. There is an ear worm trumpet/dance beat and the lyrics are about family/friends and blood being thicker than water. Again a surprisingly moving song which had me thanking God for all the support my family has given me over the years.

I also liked the rather strident 'You Make Me' with its heavy piano backing combined with EDM choruses. Never thought I'd ever put that in a sentence together. And that sums up this album. It is just such an eclectic mix of styles, which on paper at least, shouldn't work. Yet they do. The rest of the album is more EDM based yet you will still find, for example, orchestral elements.

Most unusual yet hugely enjoyable.
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on 18 November 2013
I work in a kitchen and had heard a number of Avicii tracks being played on the radio. Taking a liking to them I thought I'd check the album out before making a purchase, so I had a listen through the first few tracks on youtube (making sure I liked more than the tracks I'd heard) and thought it would be an ideal buy. Having given the album a listen through, it was what I expected with the first few tracks (dance tunes, catchy, upbeat) - these were also the tracks he had released off the album as singles/videos - so I had presumed the rest of the album would match the same feel. I have never been more let down from buying an album in my life. The first few tracks were great but then it just veers off into drum and bass, slow dance and repetitive drums for minutes on end that I could only imagine DJ's and dnb lovers to enjoy.. I couldn't believe what I was listening to, baring in mind this is a top radio artist. If I could write one single sentence about this album it would simply be 'Don't be fooled by what you've heard from Avicii, he's definitely released the better songs to pull you in.' and in one word? 'Radiobait'. Absolute garbage. Would definitely have to think twice before purchasing anything else from this guy again.
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on 6 October 2014
CD was fine brand new and works. Maybe a new courier service like pigeons would be faster. I've ordered loads of items from all different countries and never had such slooooow delivery! And yes I know what the timescale was but really over 3 weeks? I didn't realise America had moved! Definitely would not recommend and won't use again.
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on 28 September 2013
Great album and cheaper on amazon than on itunes. Not sure why it's called an amazon exclusive though as the only thing that's different is that it's missing the 12th track 'Edom'. Still, cheaper to buy the album of amazon and then the individual song from itunes but it's annoying how they've done that. Other than that a great album from Avicii!
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on 17 February 2014
I bought this to find out who the lead vocalist on Hey Brother is doesn't tell you but I enjoyed the cd and play it in my car often.
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on 6 February 2014
Surprised how boring I found this album - I was taken in by the hype & advert. I'm obviously past it if this passes for good music nowadays
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on 30 November 2014
Not as good as I had hoped.
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on 10 October 2015
Was not expecting such a variety of sounds , vocals. Really enjoy most tracks more than I was expecting. He has a new one out now but I dont think this one is to be missed. Even if like me you are not his number one fan. I think this guys selection of vocalists especially is worthy of note. Unlike a lot of popular music at the moment ALL of his selection can really sing. Really pleased to have bought it. Still listening 10 months or so later
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