Trouble by Avicii

StoriesTrack: Trouble
Album: Stories
Artist: Avicii
Genre: dance/electronic, folk
Music Rating: 8/10
Lyrics Rating: 9/10
Sounds Like: Alesso, Walk Off the Earth, Zedd
Interesting Fact: Tim Bergling gets his stage name from Avici, which is the lowest level of hell in Buddhism.
Bonus Fact: In 2013 I changed my morning alarm on my phone to “Wake Me Up” and both of my brothers’ ringtones to “Hey Brother”. They are still set that way. You might say that I’m a “True” fan.
Extra Bonus Fact: (What? I’m feeling generous today. Plus, there are lots of interesting things about Avicii!) Tim Bergling and Taylor Swift may in fact be secret twins! :Otaylor swift instagram
Best thing About this Track: “The mind fears the heart, but the heart doesn’t mind.” <—Perfection.
One thing I wish was different: The content of the lyrics are incredible, thought-provoking, and skillfully balanced and contrasted. For the most part, the structure is equally impressive, but I really wish the second verse had all original rhymes to match the first verse rather than using the same word twice without a refrain. ‘Twould have been utter perfection.
Website: Avicii

Do me a favor: go back and read the tags for the genre of this song. Yep. I did not just write that for funsies to see how many of you were paying attention. Tim is really just that good.

Though this track is officially classed as “dance music”, you do get some fun acoustic guitars on this track, which begin to lay the foundation musically. What really makes the music on this track stand out though, are the various pipe/flute parts throughout. So fun! Soaring above the bedrock of sonic structure laid below, the pan-flute seems to evoke the feeling of roots in a homestead while also conveying undertones of dreaming and venturing in the direction of unknown experiences lying just beyond the borders of familiarity.

The most iconic musical line from the song for me is interspersed throughout the song, most notably making an appearance at the end of the chorus as a perfect counterpart to the vocal melody at the beginning of the chorus. While the vocal melody sings of forward progression tonally (1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 5) before finding home base (2, 1, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1), the flute at the end of the chorus seems to see the end from the beginning (6, 5, 3, 2, 1) before repeating the all too familiar echoes at its core (2, 1, 3, 2, 1). Thus the entire chorus appears to be a melodic sandwich of the thematic lyrical reverie.

The words echo a similar sentiment of being sandwiched in the middle of the many mental, emotional, and situational extremes that the human experience has to offer. The commentator has felt he has been to the outskirts of humanity so severely on both sides of any given subject, and yet still marvels at the vast expanses of the world that remain unknown to him. This song is largely a wonderment at the depth of the human experience.

Each of us lives in a universe of our own making, built by our own personal thoughts, beliefs, memories, surroundings, etc. Each of us is equally sure that we have felt the reality of the universe more deeply than anyone else can comprehend. Each of us are just as fully correct in that conviction as we are absolutely incorrect. This song is about accepting the reality, validity, and expanse of our own experience while still acknowledging the giant metaphorical iceberg of actuality that lies beneath the surface of that which is visible to us.

Interestingly enough, the two halves of humanity which seem to be specifically addressed in the song (heart and mind) are equal in their ambiguous states which lack boundaries of the finite. I am more inclined to implicate fixed limitations upon the mind, but it is truly every bit as infinite as the heart, only more self-aware. Perchance it is the self-awareness which allows the mind to self-regulate its boundaries, thus explaining the fear of the heart as well. The heart doesn’t mind. Feelings don’t brain. Emotions have no concept of boundaries, structure, or limitations. They simply allow themselves to be as expansive, all-encompassing, and incomprehensible as they are. The mind is just as limitless inasmuch as it allows itself to be.the mind fears the heart

Speaking of limitlessness, I feel like I should have some exciting finish like: “TA-DA!” for the end of this thing. That is very difficult to do when writing about a song whose whole message is “I feel like I’m at the edge, but I’m smack in the middle of life”. Anything I try to write doesn’t feel like I’ve reached a conclusion, because the whole point of this song is that any conclusion you draw will be about a million miles from the finish line. I’ve gone back and forth about how to close this post and I think I’ve decided upon the only thing that truly feels right to me. Some of you will verily hate this. Some of you will find it hilarious. I’ve been writing about this song for several paragraphs now, and I’m still not done. I’m only halfway there.

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I’ve been a beggar and I’ve been a king
I’ve been a loner and I’ve worn the ring
Losing myself just to find me again
I’m a million miles smarter, but I ain’t learned a thing

I’ve been a teacher and a student of hurt
I’ve kept my word for whatever that’s worth
Never been last, but I’ve never been first
Oh I may not be the best, but I’m far from the worst
Oh I may not be the best, but I’m far from the worst

Oh I’ve seen trouble more than any man should bear
But I’ve seen enough joy, I’ve had more than my share
And I’m still not done, I’m only halfway there
I’m a million miles ahead of where I’m from
But there’s still have another million miles to come

Oh, I keep on searching for the city of gold
I’m gonna follow this yellow brick road
Thinking that maybe, it might lead me home
I’m a million miles farther and a long way from home

I know that there’s a plan that goes way beyond mine
Got to step back just to see the design
The mind fears the heart, but the heart doesn’t mind
Oh I may not be perfect, but I’m loving this life
Oh I may not be perfect, but I’m loving this life

Oh I’ve seen trouble more than any man should bear
But I’ve seen enough joy, I’ve had more than my share
And I’m still not done, I’m only halfway there
I’m a million miles ahead of where I’m from
But there’s still have another million miles to come


3 thoughts on “Trouble by Avicii

  • March 16, 2016 at 8:29 am

    I’ve heard Avicii before, of course, but I didn’t know the fun facts. And this morning I’ve listened to “Trouble” three times and I’m hearing things I didn’t know were there. I feel myself becoming a fan.
    May have to listen once more. Still along way… etc. Thanks for revealing this song to me. I owe you big! – Ken2

  • March 23, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Hey….what are your thoughts on the whole album? Lyrics wise, are they clean….should I avoid any songs? thinking about my 14 year old…..thoughts?

    • March 24, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Hey, Lisa. Great questions! Aptly timed as well; I was just pondering whether or not I should start doing album reviews as well to give buyers more information on whole albums that I recommend. You’ll probably see a little of that in the coming weeks. As for Stories: I love the music a lot (the album always stays “Avicii” at the core, but it spans from folk to old school hip-hop to reggae influence), and the lyrics are really clever and intellectual throughout the album. It largely revolves around the belief in love and often uses religion as a metaphor for that.

      My favorites are: Talk To Myself, Broken Arrows, and Trouble
      Maybe watch out for: Touch Me (not explicit, but it is what it sounds like),
      Sunset Jesus (not meant to offend, but it does talk about a man dressed up as Jesus in the streets as a metaphor for hope in your dreams),
      Can’t Catch Me (a positive message overall, it speaks about overcoming and escaping while still remembering tragedy so it mentions children with guns in Haiti), and
      Gonna Love Ya (says “God” at the end of the first verse as an interjection)

      Here’s a link to read through all the lyrics on the album before you make a decision! Hope that was helpful.

      *Edit: These are not songs that I have a problem with. I’m just giving any information I think would be pertinent for parents to make an informed decision about media exposure for their children. I’m super christian and I like Sunset Jesus, and obviously there’s nothing objectionable to Can’t Catch Me for an adult.


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