After almost a decade, the Swedish House Mafia released their debut artist album ‘Paradise Again’. Made up of 17 tracks, ‘Paradise Again is one of the most anticipated albums in the history of dance music. Millions of fans have been eager to listen to the new sounds that will define the group’s second era. However, the question remains: Does it live up to the hype? Well, I’m here to tell you it definitely does.
1. ‘Time’ Ft. Mapei
We dive headfirst onto the first track of the album. ‘Mapei Time’ is the opening track from ‘Paradise again’. Made up of house saws and more acoustic grooves, it is a perfect introduction. Simple as that. ‘Mapei Time’ is a mixture between house music and melodic techno, all fused with retro house vocals sprinkled on top of it all. It will certainly become a fan favorite and certainly a concert opener for the Swedish House Mafia.
2. ‘Heaven Takes You Home’ Featuring Heaven Constance
‘Heaven Takes You Home’ is the second track in PA. It’s led by a set of heavenly stabs perfectly fused with the vocals provided by the English singer/songwriter Connie Constance. Similar to the track before it, ‘Heaven Takes You Home’ is a solid fusion between the new sounds of techno and house and retro vocals & ambiance from the early sounds of house music.
3. Jacob’s Note
The album’s first intermission arrives quite early. A piano melody composed by Swedish composer Jacob Mühlrad dictates the first pause on SHM’s newest album.
4. ‘Like A Moth To A Flame’ Ft. The Weeknd
One of the previously released songs, LAMTAF is perhaps the biggest collaboration in Swedish House Mafia’s history. A good combination between a dance music group and a singer such as The Weeknd. Evocating the nostalgic sounds and styles that have made 80’s themed shows such as Stranger Things so famous, and delivering a dancefloor filler, the SHM does it again.
5. Mafia C
Something that could very well be the albums second bridge, ‘Mafia B’ delivers a plethora of hard sounding chords and drums which create a dark yet strong melody which sounds a lot more like SHM’s focused on the first tracks released after their return.
6. ‘Frankenstein’ Ft. A$AP Rocky
Another hugely expected song, ‘Frankenstein’ featuring superstar rapper A$AP Rocky is a raw hip hop track. Swedish House Mafia adds some unique touches to the beat. The sounds are quite similar to those heard on the first tracks released by the group after returning. Quite similar to what happened with the collaboration with The Weeknd, this is not a SHM track featuring someone, but a combination in which both styles come together at equal levels to create something new.
7. ‘Don’t Go Mad’ Ft. Seinabo Sey
A voice that’s already known inside the mainstream inside of EDM. Seinabo Sey has worked with and been remixed by some of the biggest DJs in the industry. For the sixth track of ‘Paradise Again,’ the Swedish singer joins her fellow countrymen to deliver a ‘Don’t Go Mad’, a heavy house song. Bearing both the energy of house and the happiness of more mainstream sounds such as the ones found in progressive sound this song has the same vibe we’ve seen on ‘Mapei Time’ and ‘Heaven Takes You Home’, making it one of the best ones so far.
8. ‘Paradise Again’
Finally. The song that gives Swedish House Mafia’s sophomore album its name. By now, you will have realized this is an album that relies heavily on ambiance. The trio has made an amazing job dominating the atmosphere it subjects its listeners to. ‘Paradise Again’ sounds a lot like the bridges we previously heard on ‘HUMAN’, Steve Angello’s album. It is a powerful intermission that brings forward both the melodic sound that has made Swedish House Mafia so famous, but also the rawness of the roots of the group’s true sound. The roots, of dance music.
9. ‘Lifetime’ Feat. Ty Dolla $ign & O7O Shake
The second track released by Swedish House Mafia after coming back. While not a fan favorite for those who are against the group going in a more mainstream direction, it has certainly gathered a good amount of listens and streams. O7O Shake’s vocals for the chorus are definitely the best part of the song.
10. ‘Calling On’
Along with the ambiance, it’s been the heavily reverbed vocals that have really taken over the entire album. For the tenth track of ‘Paradise Again’, Swedish House Mafia delivers yet another melodic, chill house track. The trio, however, manages to keep each and every one of them different, unique, and enjoyable. The structure is played with, redrawn, and restructured in a different way track after track. Simply amazing.
A very subtle groove teaming up with acoustic elements, a simple piano melody, and a fresh set of backup vocals. The variation between rhythms is one of the things that stand out the most about this album, and ‘Home’ is the perfect proof of this.
12. ‘It Gets Better’
The first track released by Swedish House Mafia upon their return. Now, after the release of ‘Paradise Again’, it’s hard not to see the role IGB plays in the group’s new sound. With this track, SHM dives deep into the different sounds that can be created through a more minimalistic take on the progressive sounds that took them to the top. The result is hard, raw, and dark.
13. ‘Redlight’ Ft. Sting
Quite probably my favorite pre-album release. Featuring one of the biggest names in the history of music, ‘Redlight’ is an absolute banger. It’s like tech-house, but on steroids. ‘Redlight’ delivers a heavy drop led by a nasty bassline, and then drops the listener in the middle of a crazy ambiance bridge joined by Sting’s ethereal vocals. Certainly, a match made in heaven.
14. ‘Can U Feel It’
This second half of the album has been more focused on the sounds of the rave. The sounds of raw house music. Drums hitting over a simple base and a simple set of catchy backup vocals. However, once you add in the ambiance treat that Swedish Mafia has curated in this album you get a whole new sense of size. ‘Can U Feel It’ takes you in a brand new direction, and it clearly shows that it is not all mainstream for the SHM, as some previously commented.
The rave is alive and well. That’s what ‘1930’, the album’s fourth intermission translates into. We’ve seen it time and time again. More and more DJs are crossing into the house and techno spectrum. No matter how big the name, everyone’s interested in the sounds of the underground. And it is no surprise that the Swedish House Mafia have already developed their own sound inside this new trend.
16. ‘Another Minute’
As we come to the album’s conclusion, we’re reminded of the Swedish House Mafia’s huge talent to tell a story. Going through the completeness of a story is sometimes hard to do when putting together an album. The trio, however, manages to give their last tracks a sense of ‘ending’ few artists manage to do.
17. ‘For You’
‘Paradise Again’ final song. Chorus chants. Organ melodies. The Swedish House Mafia closes their album in the best possible way. A brand new take on house music. And a very unique one.
‘Paradise Again’ is definitely different than what we expected. This is, however, one of the best surprises the EDM industry’s been given in a long time. If you ask me, this, along with Hardwell’s return at Ultra shows that the dance community as a whole is now giving the sounds of the undeground the space they deserve. Not looking at wether they belong to this era or not, they have once again been brought back to life to make us dance. This is the coming together of a group of friends who, above all love making music. Swedish House Mafia has finally brought us ‘Paradise Again’
Stream ‘Paradise Again’ out now everywhere below!