‘Tuned In’ review: Swedish House Mafia serves a smorgasbord of sameness with ‘Until Now’

Swedish House Mafia's 'Until Now'

Swedish House Mafia's "Until Now"

Many will want to have the Swedish House Mafia at their next party, and those who do would likely want to go all-out and invite the 22-track deluxe edition of “Until Now” rather than the trio’s more humble 10-cut version.

And why not? The release is an aural orgy that seems to be in a perpetual state of climax from electronic dance music tethered to ecstatic, soaring synthesizers. So the more partiers in this gang-bang of sound, the merrier, right?

It’s hard to know who’s doing what in this piled-on, remixed mash-up of SHM’s compiled hits. For instance, a single track is credited as, “ ‘Walking Alone’ by Dirty South & Those Usual Suspects featuring Erik Hecht/‘Miami 2 Ibiza’ by Swedish House Mafia vs. Tinie Tempah.” Another cut is, “ ‘Three Triangles’ by Hardwell/‘Trio’ by Arty, Matisse & Sadko/‘Teenage Crime’ by Adrian Lux.” And suffice it to say the remixes of Florence + The Machine’s “You Got the Love” and Coldplay’s “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall” sure don’t sound much like Florence + The Machine or Coldplay.

“Until Now” frequently features individual credits to the act’s three DJS — Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell and Steve Angello — yet with three individual men running the boards and a seeming army of artists drifting in and out of the mix, there’s surprising consistency in this rave-up.

In fact, “Until Now” even gets redundant.

There’s an atmosphere of insane, relentless exuberance throughout. Several tracks have their distinct signatures, such as the sweet optimism in the vocals of “In My Mind,” the wobbling fury of “Antidote” and the memorable melody of “Reload.” Yet other songs are just mini-explosions in what amounts to a seizure of similar explosions. Swiped and sampled songs are cannibalized by the whole and converted into a banging-beat/swirling-synth sameness that leaves the source material all but unrecognizable.

Sure, it’s captivating in short bursts. But after a 22-track extravaganza, listeners might think that 10-cut version isn’t such a bad idea.

Rating: 3 stars (out of five)

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