Steve Angello leaves the Mafia sound behind with his solo debut album

Mike Pizzo

Three and a half stars

Steve Angello Wild Youth

After massive hits like “One,” “Leave the World Behind,” “Don’t You Worry Child” and “Save the World,” the case could easily be made that Swedish House Mafia wrote the blueprint for the modern EDM anthem. Since then Axwell and Ingrosso have ventured out as a duo, and Steve Angello has gone solo, finally planting his flag with debut album Wild Youth.

“To me it was really important that I didn’t try and do something,” Angello explains. “I wanted it to be a natural, gradual process in which every track had to grow up and become its own thing.” And Wild Youth doesn’t attempt to replicate the sound of Swedish House Mafia, straying from stadium-ready, potentially commercial crossover hits.

That’s not to say the record isn’t packed with anthemic, big-room choons. Those songs are here, just a bit more understated, as on “Wasted Love” or “Children of the Wild,” both of which draw influence from melodic rock bands like U2 and Coldplay. But Angello is at his best when tapping into the deeper, hypnotic grooves of songs like “Revolution” and “The Ocean.” The same can be said for “Someone Else,” with hometown hero Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons, which begs for a live, collaborative performance at Omnia.

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