The Swedish DJ and producer Avicii has been filling arenas with his big-tent take on house music for a few years, and in 2013 he struck gold with “True,” his first solo album, which yielded the Aloe Blacc-led monster hit “Wake Me Up.” “Stories” continues the trend of Avicii laying down beats while others take on vocals; an often-potent collection of genre-hopping bangers whose singers come both from within the dance world (like London-based yowler Celeste Waite, who throws down on the sinewy “Touch Me”) and outside it. Coldplay’s Chris Martin provides vocals and piano on the pulsing “True Believer,” giving the swirling track just enough oomph to be readily mistaken for a remixed tune by his band; roots-rock stalwart Zac Brown’s grizzled contribution to the hyperactive “Broken Arrows” might just give him his first taste of the top-40 life. “Stories” drags a bit at the end, the low point being a reggae-lite track starring former Fugee Wyclef Jean and the fusion-minded Matisyahu, but when it hits, it hits big.
ESSENTIAL "Touch Me"
Maura Johnston can be reached at email@example.com.