The 28-year-old producer and DJ Avicii took his own life in April of 2018, leaving behind bits, pieces and notations toward a project he could never finish. Avicii’s surviving parents, friends and collaborators decided to share his final vision with fans, and careful consideration of his lyrics, musical footprints and notes left behind have led to Tim, the 12-track posthumous album title after Avicii’s true name.
Tim Bergling was one of, if not the brightest force in the electronic dance music explosion of the 2010s. His song “Levels” was an instant classic, followed by cross-genre Hot 100 hits “Wake Me Up,” “Hey Brother,” “SOS” and more. His music and lyrics transcended the usual party cliches, digging deeper into our shared modern consciousness with music videos that dared to question the status quo.
That weight is felt immediately on “Peace Of Mind,” the album opener whose ghostly lyrics read, “Dear society, you are moving way too fast, way too fast for me, I’m just trying to catch my breath.” It then melts right into some of the bright and pop-facing melodies Avicii was best known for, with a vocal assist from Coldplay’s Chris Martin on “Heaven.”
Tim‘s lyrics continue to seek answers and abandon in hopeful compositions. Bergling’s love of pushing the envelope shows in the off-kilter hook of “Bad Reputation.” “Ain’t A Thing” gives listeners a sing-along ballad with what feels like Avicii’s take on future bass tropes, while “Freak” is mighty similar to most tropical house dance-pop on the radio with some classic Avicii touches. Still, “Excuse Me Sir” and “Heart Upon My Sleeve” are decidedly fresh.
The album features collaborations from Avicii regulars Aloe Blacc and Vargas & Lagola as well as Imagine Dragons and Arizona. It’s impossible to know what Bergling would have given had he still been alive, but Tim does leave one with the feeling that Avicii and his vision are still in the world.
Stream and listen to Tim below.