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Monday
Oct222012

Review: Until Now - Swedish House Mafia

Since its conception in 2008, Swedish House Mafia has become a global EDM phenomenon.  Known for producing hit after hit, and putting on consistently epic performances, Ingrosso, Axwell, and Angello have become the faces of the mainstream Progressive House movement.  The disappointing announcement of SHM’s separation following One Last Tour has been slightly eased by today's release of Until Now, the concluding album from the trio of EDM giants. SHM has compiled their set essentials, making Until Now a 22-track house compilation for the ages. The records are intense, big room house, fitting the SHM mold perfectly. My only grievance with the album is the lack of new material. You'd expect a group with such an enormous fan base to go out with a louder bang – that would only add to the magic of One Last Tour. The "educated" house fan may know most of the tracks on the album, but you’ll surely enjoy the album nonetheless. Because there's no way to sum up the enormous year that has been 2012, without a bit of SHM.

1. "Greyhound" - Swedish House Mafia

"Greyhound" is the iconic SHM set-opener.  They’ve gotten hundreds of crowds in the palm of their hands with this track, and for good reason – it bumps.  No matter who drops it, the Mafia or others, the audience always turns to pandemonium.

2. "Here We Go" - Hard Rock Sofa & Swanky Tunes

For the project it is, “Here We Go” fits Until Now well.  The three Swedes have both supported and consistently dropped the record.  I just feel SHM missed a huge opportunity to go out with a bang – new material for One Last Tour would’ve been sick.

3. "In My Mind" - Ivan Gough & Feenixpawl ft. Georgi Kay (Axwell Remix)

In a festival setting, the synth melodies of Axwell’s In My Mind mix give you the chills.

4. "Calling" (Lose My Mind) - Sebastian Ingrosso & Alesso ft. Ryan Tedder

Mentor and prodigy team up to produce a festival banger.  Simple as that.

5. "Atom / Leave the World Behind" - Nari & Milani vs. Laidback Luke vs. Swedish House Mafia

Atom is a bumpin' track with mass appeal.  Mix that with the work of SHM & Laidback Luke (Happy Birthday), and you've got a hype track for sure.

6. "Antidote" - Swedish House Mafia & Knife Party

This pairing has worked perfectly.  The big room qualities of SHM and Knife Party’s hard sound mesh together perfectly. Prepare for that massive drop.

7. "Walking Alone / Miami 2 Ibiza" - Dirty South & Those Usual Suspects vs. Swedish House Mafia ft. Tinie Tempah

When I first heard Ingrosso drop this mix, I fell in love with house music. The transition from Dirty South’s instigating buildup into SHM’s huge drop is seamless. One of the best mixes on the album.

8. "Resurrection" - Michael Calfan vs. Coldplay (Axwell's Recut Club Version)

“Resurrection” is a trademark Axwell track, although it’s not too much different than the original.  That being said, its definitely a SHM favorite, so it fits.

9. "The Wave" - Miike Snow (Thomas Gold Edit)

There’s not a smidgen of SHM on this track, and “The Wave” isn’t one of their key set pieces. It’s hype, I just don’t really understand why this track makes the cut while more SHM essential tracks were left off Until Now.

10. "Lady Dadi / Sing 2 Me / Alright" - Steve Aoki ft. Wynter Gordon (Tommy Trash Remix) vs. Thomas Gold vs. Red Carpet

This mix is dominated by Tommy Trash’s remix of Ladi Dadi – a definite house set essential.  While none of the tracks involved are SHM produced, as a huge Tommy fan I absolutely love it.

11. "The Island" - Pendulum (Steve Angello, AN21 & Max Vangeli Remix)

Epic track, but we’ve known that for a while.

13. "Raise Your Head / Epic" - Alesso vs. Sandro Silva & Quintino

Personally, I don’t find “Raise Your Head” one of Alesso’s hottest releases.  That being said, the strong buildup of “Raise Your Head” crossed with the bass-driven drop of “Epic” makes for a pretty good mix.

14. "Three Triangles / Trio / Teenage Crime" - Hardwell vs. Arty vs. Matisse & Sadko vs. Adrian Lux

Tons of SHM set lists feature Arty’s top hit Trio alongside Matisse & Sadko, so it definitely deserved a spot on Until One. With an intro from Hardwell’s “Three Triangles” and the vocals off “Teenage Crime”, the track’s not too complicated but I like it.

15. "Reload" - Sebastian Ingrosso & Tommy Trash

I’m glad Tommy Trash is working along side big-names such as Ingrosso. He may not be as big (yet), but he’s definitely skilled.  Reload shows the two talented artists styles blended perfectly.

16. "Euphoria" - Usher (Swedish House Mafia Extended Dub)

When SHM take freedom over the track, it’s got serious potential.  Not to bash Usher, I just don’t think his soft R&B voice fits well with the trio’s exciting big-room style.

17. "Don't You Worry Child" - Swedish House Mafia ft. John Martin

DYWC is the Mafia’s emotional last dance (for now) that has had fans jumping all summer.  This track had to be on the album.

18. "Beating of My Heart / Sweet Disposition" - M-3ox ft. Heidrun (Matisse & Sadko Instrumental) vs. The Temper Trap

Beating of my heart is a staple set track –I’ve seen all three members of SHM drop it individually.  Fits the Until Now vision perfectly.

19. "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall" - Coldplay vs. Swedish House Mafia

Coldplay’s genius and Chris Martin’s vocals are transformed by Swedish House Mafia into a House masterpiece.

20. "You've Got the Love / One" - Florence + The Machine (Mark Night Remix) vs. Swedish House Mafia

Think Swedish House Mafia, and “One” probably comes to mind.  A mix of the beautiful vocals of Florence Welch and building synths into SHM’s biggest song, this is my favorite track on the album. Dope.

21. "Heart Is King / Save the World" - Axwell vs. Knife Party Remix

A favorite closing track of the Mafia.  Axwell’s Heart is King flows smoothly into a heavy drop of Knife Party’s SHM remix.

22. "Save The World / Punk" - Swedish House Mafia vs. Arty (Rock-n-Rolla Mix)

What else would they close with?

For what it is, an album summarizing Swedish House Mafia’s favorite set-used tracks, Until Now is a success.  I think the choice of tracks representing members Axwell and Ingrosso are good markers of their work, while Angello's tracks could have been better selected. Personally, I would have liked to have seen recent track "Yeah," as well as frequently used Angello release "Knas" make the album.  Overall, the Mafia achieved their goal of summarizing their live performances in an album.  However, my perspective as a fan makes me view Until Now as a missed opportunity. I believe SHM could have etched their name a little deeper as the biggest EDM collab group of all time had they produced a more solid album to accompany One Last Tour. I found the announcement of SHM’s One Last Tour a bit anticlimactic after reading the track list for Until Now, as I had hoped for more energetic, fresh big room house from Sweden’s finest. Their last album is definitely one to listen to, and enjoy, the entire way through. What do you guys think? What's your favorite track?

Out now on iTunes!

By Will Payne

Follow me on Twitter: @WillPayne24

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