The rise of electronic dance music has changed the industry: Multi-day festivals headlined by phalanxes of DJs have become crucial to the bottom line, and big-name producers have remade the “Vegas residency” with eye-popping paydays at luxe clubs. But certain old ideas still hold, which is why Alesso, a protégé of countryman Sebastian Ingrosso, is releasing his first solo album some four years after his initial chart splash. Despite being assembled from recent singles and newer compositions, “FOREVER” has a few overarching traits: lush, showy instrumental beds, lyrics that too often muse on the ideas of feeling exquisite pain and transmuting oneself into astral material, and vocal performances (from the boldfaced likes of OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder and “Habits” belter Tove Lo) that emphasize octave-leaping gymnastics and impressively sustained syllables. Alesso has spoken of his admiration for film composer Hans Zimmer, and his debut’s best track, the brooding, string-accented instrumental “Destinations,” hints tantalizingly at his ability to create mood music. Too bad that the rest of “FOREVER” feels incomplete without EDM’s streamers, lasers, and giant crowds. (Out Tuesday)
Essential “Destinations”Maura Johnston can be reached at email@example.com.