Somehow, it seems impossible to think that "Forever" (Def Jam/Virgin/EMI) is Alesso's debut album.
After all, the Swedish DJ's first singles -- "Years" and "Calling (Lose My Mind)," both collaborations with Seaford native Matthew Koma -- arrived in 2012. Alesso is also already a major draw on the festival circuit, playing Coachella this year and set to headline Electric Zoo here Labor Day weekend.
However, all those years of experience pay off on "Forever," where the 23-year-old proves that he's now a peer to his mentors like Swedish House Mafia's Sebastian Ingrosso and OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder.
Alesso has already shown his radio-conquering abilities on "Heroes (We Could Be)" featuring Tove Lo, which topped the dance charts last year and has crossed over to pop radio. Between Lo's soaring vocals and Alesso's banging beats, the single is hard to resist.
And Alesso has plenty more where that came from, including "All This Love" featuring Noonie Bao and "Sweet Escape" featuring Sirena, which both mine similar ground.
He has seemingly learned plenty from Calvin Harris, who he teamed up with for the thunderous "Under Control." For the video for "Cool," featuring Roy English, Alesso is the center of attention, dancing his way through a high school dream sequence and establishing that he plans to be one of those DJs who will be known on sight, like Harris and David Guetta. (No word on whether Harris has set Alesso up with one of Taylor Swift's famous friends so they can double date.) It doesn't hurt that "Cool" will likely soon become a summer radio staple, with its memorable hook and English's smooth delivery.
Perhaps one of Alesso's greatest strengths is in his composing, as the lovely piano-driven instrumentals "Destinations" and "Immortale," as well as the groove-filled "Payday," show.
That gift for lengthy melodies, as opposed to simple riffs, should serve Alesso well. "Forever" may be just the beginning for him, but it shows why he certainly deserves to start out near the top.
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THE GRADE B+