MIMO - When Music is Your Fix

Steve Angello ‘Wild Youth’ – Album Review

SIZE Records (2016)

Judging by all the pre-release talk of shunning EDM, steering dance music back into a proper direction and making a piece of art, you’d expect Steve Angello’s second solo LP, Wild Youth, to be something of a game-changer. So it’s slightly baffling to hear that the Stockholm DJ has delivered the kind of unadventurous, generic and largely forgettable record he appears to be rallying against.

Indeed, featuring guest appearances from the likes of The Temper Trap’s Dougy Mandagi (“Wasted Love”), Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds (“Someone Else”) and singer-songwriter Gary Go (“Prisoner”), much of Wild Youth sticks to the emotive indie-rock vocals/soaring progressive house template that defined Swedish House Mafia’s career before the supergroup split at the top of their game in 2013.

Beyond the use of a children’s choir on “Children of the Wild” and the annoyingly infectious whistle hook of “Last Dance,” the only time that Steve Angello truly mixes things up a little is when he slows things down. “Revolution,” a collaboration with US vocalist David Garza and Italian DJ Francesco Rossi, is a surprisingly subtle and atmospheric piece of chillout perfect for watching the Ibiza sunset. With her piercing Kate Bush-esque tones, fellow Swede Julia Spada lends an otherworldly quality to the leftfield synth-pop of “The Ocean,” while “Tiger” is an intriguing instrumental which veers from cinematic ambience to bubbling Moroder-esque electronica.

Of course, Wild Youth will no doubt inspire plenty of hands-in-the-air moments across this year’s EDM festivals. But in contrast to Steve Angello’s misguided claims, it certainly won’t spearhead a dance music revolution.

2.5 / 5 stars     

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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Jon O'Brien's love of music began as a six-year-old after becoming bizarrely transfixed with the 80s poodle rock of Heart, Europe and Def Leppard. Switching his attention to pop icon Michael Jackson, he then became addicted to the UK Top 40, becoming a rather pointless walking Wikipedia of chart positions in the process. Driving his poor neighbors up the wall while learning to play the drums as a teen, he toyed with the idea of becoming a musician, but in studying Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, he realized heÕd rather write about music than perform it. Since then, he's written thousands of reviews and biographies on everything from bubblegum pop to death metal, but electronica remains his main passion, with everything from Aphex Twin to Zero 7 in his spare room-consuming record collection. Jon resides in northwest England near Liverpool.

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