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Elizabeth Ubbe / The New York Times

May 1, 2019

ROLNICK | Avicii To Release Posthumous Album

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p class=”p1″>Avicii summons us, “Can you hear me? SOS! Help me put my mind to rest,” even after his passing last April, with the voice of Aloe Blacc on the star’s deeply plaintive hit single “Wake Me Up.”  Instead of a purely somber anniversary of Avicii’s death, fans will be treated simultaneously to a true celebratory feast. “SOS,” the single which Avicii was working on at the time of his passing, was released across all streaming platforms, ahead of a new album compiled posthumously and slated for release in June. The accompanying video displays heartfelt sentiments from some of Avicii’s fans.

Prior to his death, the Swedish musician had compiled a collection of just-about-finished-songs along with notes, email chains and text messages about his work. Avicii’s family has titled the album TIM, and all proceeds made from the album will be given to The Tim Bergling Foundation, the organization established to honor Avicii and address mental health issues.

Blacc, Kristoffer Fogelmark, Albin Nedler, Salem Al Fakir, Vincent Pontare and Coldplay’s Chris Martin are all working together to keep the compilation as close as possible to Avicii’s style and purpose.  But would Avicii himself have wanted all sixteen of these incomplete drafts exposed? And, while great care was taken to attempt to surmise (utilizing past songs and artistic notes) what the artist would have done with the remaining full quarter of the songs, could it ever be Avicii’s?

Some of civilization’s greatest works would have been left unshared and even destroyed had it not been for posthumous publication. Prime literary examples include Lavinia Dickinson’s discovery of 40 volumes of her sister Emily’s unpublished and private poetry, which she ultimately succeeded in having published, and Max Brod’s direct contravention of his friend Franz Kafka’s instruction to destroy his literature upon his death. A more recent example includes Drake’s Scorpion, featuring a posthumous Michael Jackson in the background.

“I was trying to produce through someone else’s eyes and ears — someone who’s not here,” producer Carl Falk told The New York Times on TIM. “It was really hard not to criticize yourself the whole time. Would he like this? What would he have done?”

Avicii’s unique ability to blend poignant and moving lyrics with get-up-and-dance joy and soul is about to re-emerge; a cause celebration for us. And the album was put together by those who knew him best, so celebrate we should. It’s impossible not to love Avicii’s music, and I think he has given us his blessing.

Juliette Rolnick is junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at jrolnick@cornellsun.com. Eyes Wide Shut runs alternate Thursdays this semester.