The song that started it all, “Wake Me Up” is ground zero for the thankfully declining trend of Folk-EDM, the unholy fusion of Electronic music & fast-strumming acoustic guitars. Somehow taking the world by storm, this style became a cornerstone of Avicii’s persona, the happy-go-lucky bounce of such songs essentially elected the unofficial theme-song of festival culture & this new wave of weekend warriors spawned by the mainstream-ification of the Dance industry. While it may be an unpopular opinion, fame does not always equate to good songwriting, the overbearing positivity present in this track quickly becoming a nuisance to all in its path, an ear-worm which burrows deep & refuses to let go for anything less than lobotomy-level surgery.
Sung by Aloe Blacc, “Wake Me Up” is filled with sweeping lines of youthful wonder & starry-eyed dreaming, the kind of uplifting number millennials find easy to relate to, their lust for exploration displayed prominently through his words. Only downside is these words are channeled through an obscene level of vibrato, each note wobbling much more than should be humanly possible. As such, what is meant to be an endearingly spiritual performance feels more like a karaoke singer attempting to throw some spin on an otherwise nondescript tune like “Amazing Grace” or “The Thong Song.” Were it not for the in-your-face nature of these moments of overperformance, the rest of “Wake Me Up” would probably feel a lot more solid, the incredible polish of its auditory layers topping even those of Avicii’s more seasoned rivals like Tiesto & deadmau5. All-in-all there’s still a lot to be learned from this track, as the best part about a legacy is it doesn’t necessarily have to be a good one, evident in the hostile takeover this song’s style took on the Electronic music industry & its lasting effect to this day.
Mike Einziger, Tim Bergling, Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins III
"Wake Me Up" is a song by Swedish DJ and record producer Avicii, released as the lead single from his debut studio album True, released on CD and cassette by PRMD Music and Universal Music Group’s Island Records on 17 June 2013. "Wake Me Up" was written by Avicii, Mike Einziger, and Aloe Blacc. American soul singer Aloe Blacc provides vocals for the track and Mike Einziger of Incubus provides acoustic guitar. Avicii introduced "Wake Me Up!" for the first time live on stage at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami. The experimental rendering (it was accompanied by a live band with instruments and vocalists, including Blacc, Einziger and Incubus members Ben Kenney on bass and José Pasillas on drums) reportedly confused and angered a section of the electronic dance festival community. Subsequently, Avicii achieved critical and commercial success with the release of the single worldwide.