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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 28 January 2014
OK it might be close to my sixth decade on this planet but as a result I have had a wide ranging interest in music and have never been afraid to try something new. Sometimes it works others it doesn,t but this is great music from a guy I have never heard of ( read up about him since though) and it works as relaxing, driving, bopping music and the production is first class.
I thought that DJs just played records but this guy writes his own and collaborative stuff and uses real artists not just samples to create addictive music.
Many different vocal and musical styles.
Deserves to be played LOUD!
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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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on 23 September 2013
Awesome album! I was a bit confused when I saw this advertised as Avicii's debut album, then I realised - although he's been around for a few years now, he's released a fair few singles but never an album! This was well worth the wait - pretty much every song on here is good. A few of them aren't my cup of tea to begin with, but they get better later in the song. Wake Me Up is definitely the best, followed closely by Dear Boy and You Make Me. Great album, worth the money.
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on 9 July 2015
Not traditionally a fan of pop or dance music, but I do have quite diverse musical taste. Was hoping more tracks would be like hey brother and wake me up as they're my particular favourites, but actually they're quite different, which should really come as no surprise. I think this is more of a grower for me personally, but so far I'm enjoying it :)
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on 17 September 2013
Love Avicii, have listened to the album constantly since buying it. Beautiful mix of dance and country-esque music. Something different, but still every good.
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on 1 January 2016
Brilliant CD, with the digital version a really good bonus. Something we have on the car, and all enjoy, even my 23 year old son, who is into metal and heavy rock.
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on 23 November 2015
Great album every song on this track better than the last. It was exactly what I was looking for passed all my expectations and more great sound and quality too.
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on 18 November 2017
Fast delivery. Great product. Thank you!
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