“Tim,” the third album from Swedish EDM superstar Avicii, born Tim Bergling, follows his tragic suicide in April 2018. Fans of his were given a teaser for the upcoming album on April 5 when his YouTube page posted a video called “Avicii - The Story Behind The Album ‘TIM.’” The video features family members of Bergling and collaborators who worked with him reminisce about Bergling’s talent and talk about the album he was working on before his death.
His label, Universal Music Group, and his family decided to finish work on the album in honor of his memory. Bergling originally sent in 16 songs to the label, the finished product is 12 songs and just shy of 40 minutes. All net profits from album sales will go to the Tim Bergling Foundation, a charity designed to help people will mental health issues.
Avicii was famous for his uplifting and soul-searching brand of EDM, a formula only he was capable of pulling off. The opener, “Peace of Mind” featuring pop duo Vargas & Lagola, follows suit of Avicii’s catalog. The track builds with strings, vocals and bubbles over around the halfway mark. The lyrics may reflect Avicii’s mindset in his later days,
“Dear society / you are moving way too fast,” Vargas & Lagola sing. “Can I get a little peace of mind? / And a little bit of silence to unwind?”
The Chris Martin featuring track “Heaven” also reflects late Avicii sentiments. The track was apparently created in 2014, so this may be the closest track on the album to Avicii’s own direction. “Tim’s” lead single “SOS” features returning collaborator Aloe Blacc and echoes themes from “Peace of Mind” in that Avicii needed mental rest and solace. Avicii explores uncharted territory on “Tough Love” with Middle Eastern sounding instruments and tempo.
The production on “Tim” and most of Avicii’s previous efforts have a certain clean and glossy production that pierces through other pop songs meddled with too many layers. “Bad Reputation” is a perfect example of this production. The xylophone and Latin-style percussion are joined with pristine vocals that make for a pure pop experience. “It Ain’t a Thing” features a similar listen in terms of clean, poppy production.
One of the only truly sour notes on the album is “Excuse Me Mr Sir,” an uncharacteristically cocky track that lands on annoying rather than confident. Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds provides vocals on the previously released instrumental “Heart Upon My Sleeve” on 2013’s “True.” Reynolds’ voice seems like it was made to fit the intense track.
The producers of “Tim” took extra precaution on the making of the record, ensuring his memory and sound went untarnished. For the most part, they were successful. The songs follow the usual approach Avicii would have taken in life, positive, clean and danceable. The record is a celebration of his life and music that doesn’t try to add anything he wouldn’t do.