Swedish House Mafia
- Genre: Dance
- Date: 2022-04-15
- Content: explicit
- Region: USA
- Track(s): 17
- ℗ 2022 SSA Recording, LLP, under exclusive license to Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
Remarkably, ‘Paradise Again’ is Swedish House Mafia’s debút studio album, the electronic gurus’ first full length endeavour. Packed with neon shades and muscular production, it’s ideal gym fare – that is, stylish background music, that never fully grabs you. It’s a phenomenally effective album, one built to occupy huge, widescreen places, and as a result foregoes the subtlety that more underground fare can enjoy.
The sprawling 17-track album is richer in texture and grander in scope than previous releases, but the group’s forays into menacing, murkier sounds prove less satisfying than the crystalized euphoria that made them crowd pleasers. “Paradise Again” opts for a darker sound, crammed with buzzes and whirs.
Rather than sounding like a vintage group struggling to find their identity, though, Swedish House Mafia’s debut album sees the trio flexing their musical and emotional muscles across 17 brilliant, fearless and often surprising tracks. The kings of dance music are very much back.
Album Cover Artwork
We find three circles in a pitch-black background which represent the DJ/Producer trio of Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso. Noticeably, the lines are not shaped alike, which shows the uniqueness of their personal journeys and experiences.
From the perspective of the artwork being set in space, each white particle that makes up the full circle represent a minute in the life of Swedish House Mafia housed in three different entities. Basically, a timeline from the day the group was formed until the release day of Paradise Again.
Tracks and Features
‘Time’ featuring Mapei, the intro track of the album, is upbeat, groovy and it perfectly sets the tone for what’s to come. It’s quite unlike anything we’ve heard from the trio, which is a common theme with ‘Paradise Again’.
Heaven Takes You Home’ featuring Connie Constance takes you down a groovy path, all whilst being euphoric at the same time. Constance’s vocals are striking; the takeaway line is ‘make magic’, and that’s exactly what’s been executed with this record.
‘Jacob’s Note’ with Jacob Mühlrad is a piano track. It begins in an erratic fashion, but quickly slows down and grabs your attention. It’s rather relaxing, setting the tone for the next track.
“Moth to a Flame,” with The Weeknd is Paradise Again’s best track. They build into it with a palate-cleansing instrumental interlude from Swedish composer Jacob Mühlrad, a pocket of stillness on a constantly churning album, before the beat rises once again.
Mafia” is a wordless trudge that sounds more apt to soundtrack a video game than an arena rager; midway through, the drums slump and then pause, like the song itself needed to gasp for air. A faint drone hums under the entire track.
They recruit A$AP Rocky for “Frankenstein,” an attempt at a foreboding mosh pit anthem, but the song crosses into caricature, with Rocky on autopilot as he chants about fucking up the club. Then there’s ‘Redlight’, a playful and rave-ready EDM reworking of The Police’s ‘Roxanne’ and featuring Sting.
‘Don’t Go Mad’ featuring Seinabo Sey is the quickest, most upbeat track on the album. Its build-up is nothing short of wild. On “Lifetime,” Ty Dolla $ign and 070 Shake’s voices glint and echo as they sing about the glaring lights of a city skyline, the promise of clasped hands.
“19:30” falls into a smudge of bleats and beeps; sirens reverberate around a limp beat drop on “Don’t Go Mad,” grating under frazzled layers of distortion, which also features Seinabo Sey. ‘Another Minute’ is another collaboration with 070 Shake; it’s an inspirational, cinematic vocal track
‘For You’, the final track of the album, is uplifting in every way. The vocals, the melody and everything in between make this track the perfect closing track.
The album finds a happy medium between those experimental vibes and a modern pop style that will satisfy crowds at arenas across the world.
Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso took care of the music production on this project.