Most of the world was introduced to Avicii via "Levels," his breakout hit that sampled Etta James' 1962 release, "Something's Got a Hold on Me." The Swedish DJ is once again going back to the '60s to rework another iconic hit from yet another soul diva, this time taking on Nina Simone's "Feeling Good," which became a jazz standard after she recorded it for her 1965 album I Put a Spell on You.
Avicii's "Feeling Good" keeps the bombastic, soulful production of the original, but now boasts a cleaner, slicker sound tailored toward the generation that's used to hearing HQ audio in their Spotify Premium accounts. Get your soul sister on above!
While we'll never say no to a Nina Simone cover—did you hear Jazmine Sullivan's recent rendition of "Baltimore"?—we are wondering why he went so straightforward with this track. "Levels" was brilliant in taking a '60s gospel track and making it work in a modern-day EDM banger. This take on "Feeling Good," while soul-stirring, is very one dimensional and doesn't even really play to Avicii's DJ strengths. There isn't even a dance breakdown.
Avicii changed modern dance music with his country-tinged hits like "Wake Me Up" and "Hey Brother." Is he trying to change the game again for a no-frills soul track? There are already producers doing that (and doing it quite well), so Avicii really needs to step up his production game if he's gunning for uncomplicated pop productions—especially after his latest singles "The Days" and "The Nights" couldn't even crack the Top 75 on the Billboard Hot 100.