Hear Swedish House Mafia’s Stunning Debut Album, A Reminder That Even the Most Broken Can Heal With Time – EDM.com

And just like that, they’re back.

It’s hard to believe we just heard Swedish House Mafia’s debut album. Strolling atop an eruptive EDM boom in the early 2010s, the trio had reached the promised land on the heels of their many generational dance anthems. But a fractured dynamic within the group led to its shock disbandment, which deflated the electronic music community like a Mike Tyson left hook.

And as Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell and Steve Angello explored solo endeavors, the group’s detachment eventually stood as an axiom that their once harmonious relationship had turned irretrievably sour.

But even the most broken things can heal over time.

That brings us to today, when Swedish House Mafia finally released Heaven again, an album that had been in the works for almost a decade and that many thought would never happen. Embracing a more ominous sound, the album at times recalls this unsettling period. And in doing so, it reminds us to own our darkest moments and use them to chart a course for our own growth. After all, who are we if not look-alikes of ourselves from years past?

But thanks to its sanguine lyricism and warehouse rave-inspired sound design, Heaven again is a very spirited album, and which should enthuse us for the future instead of dwelling on the past.

Axwell, Steve Angelo and Sebastien Ingrosso of the Swedish house mafia.

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The 17-track album kicks off with “Time,” a sultry house cut featuring a stentorian Mapei, which loudly conveys the message of the Swedish House Mafia: “It takes time to heal / It takes time to know where is your heart”.

Heaven again dives deeper down the rabbit hole with “Mafia,” a mid-tempo bomb that could be the soundtrack to an LSD-fueled ballad a la Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The hypnotic track sets the tone for the ensuing “Frankenstein,” a legendary collaboration with A$AP Rocky that many fans thought would never escape the band’s hard drive. Here, Swedish House Mafia crank out a languorous hip-hop banger designed for moshpits.

With a painful twist, the titular “Paradise Again” comes halfway through its namesake album. Its cinematic and lingering verse eventually culminating in a resonant drop, the slow-burning track is a reminder of the band’s long road to comeback.

The Swedish House Mafia really finds its groove in the second half of Heaven again, where they twist the knife in their darker approach. Perhaps no track serves this purpose better than “Can U Feel It”, a gripping rush of minimal techno with tinges of jungle influences. They then follow with “19:30”, an offbeat and fierce cut with an industrial heat close to melted butter.

Make a bow on Heaven again is its aching coda, a moving track called “For You” that lights up like a punch for the band’s fans who have stuck with them since that fateful moment in 2013.

Listen to Swedish House Mafia’s long-awaited debut album below.


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Raymond I. Langston