Released: Sep 2013
Label: Island Records
Nobody saw this one coming: the Swedish superstar DJ behind fizzy stadium-rave hits like "Levels" turns out to be a brilliant pop craftsman. Despite all the ballyhoo about his "going country," the surprises don't end with the banjos and kazoos. There are Stax horns, Doors organs, Zapp vocoders, hints of British Invasion grit and, yes, obligatory nods to Adele and Lana Del Rey. What looks improbable on paper -- including collaborators like Nile Rodgers, country legend Mac Davis and Incubus' Mike Einziger -- hangs effortlessly together thanks to sharp hooks, indelible melodies and good cheer.