Illenium’s second album has been one of the most anticipated albums of the year in the EDM world. Nick Miller absolutely crushed his newest project – Awake – and I personally, cannot get enough.
It’s no secret that Illenium is taking over the scene. From playing the cosmicMEADOW stage at EDC, closing out the Tripolee stage at Electric Forest, to having his songs featured on MTV reality TV shows; there’s no doubt he is truly making a name for himself. Awake is bound to skyrocket his popularity and respect within this community.
Having been a long time fan, I can hear the maturity and musical evolution that has been put into this album. Illenium is known for a melodic dubstep/bass sound, and for having the ability to bring even the ‘maniliest man’ to tears with his music. Awake completely exceeded my expectations, with that said his music is even better than I could have imagined!
I’ve listened to the album through multiple times (it’s just so good), and I am so impressed with how the whole project flows. Rather than Awake being a collection of his songs put into a single album, Illenium truly makes it a cohesive piece of work that tells a story from beginning to end. Social media is blowing up with nothing but praise for Illenium and his magnificent album.
The first song on the album, “Needed You”, starts off as if it’s the beginning of a set at your favorite music festival. The build up to the first verse really sets the mood for the entire album and I was prepared to go on a journey right off the rip. The drop is euphoric and placed my mind among my best friends under lasers and confetti. I can picture it now – “Needed You” will definitely be a crowd favorite.
Tracks like “No Time Like Now” and “Take Me Higher” add a chill vibe to the album. The melodies and softer side of the tracks make me want to be on a beach watching the sunset with someone I love. Illenium definitely didn’t take it easy on our feels.
“Free Fall” and “Where’d U Go” have some seriously epic drops that are impossible to listen to without dancing. The build up and drops of both songs made me feel like I should be dancing the middle of a lightening storm somewhere on a mountain. “Where’d U Go” has a Porter Robinson vibe to it, and who doesn’t need more of that in their life?
“Crawl Outta Love,” “Leaving,” “Feel Good,” and “Sound of Walking Away” were singles released prior to the album, and I thought I knew how much I loved them, but oh wow if it’s even possible I love them even more now. “Sound of Walking Away” as a single is legendary and already a favorite in the community, but hearing it as piece of this project made it even better. The lyrics, the drop, and the slower finish transitioning in “Sound of Walking Away” made this a part of the album that can absolutely not be ignored. It brings a darker vibe to the album and as a project the placement of these two tracks could not be more perfect. Where the feels really hit me was during “Lost,” especially this line:
“I’m gasping for the air you stole from me
I’m crossing out the eyes and what they’ve seen
I’m better off, I’m better off, I’m better lost”
My personal favorite is “Beautiful Creatures.” It’s just a genuinely good, uplifting, happy song that makes you want to dance around your room. There’s nothing quite like a song that simply brings a smile to your face. Finally, “Let You Go“, and it’s static fade out to end wraps up the entire album, and places a beautiful red bow on top.
Photo by Sean Flynn
Awake is a gift to the fans of Illenium and will definitely attract new followers. I could not be more impressed with this album. The entire album possesses a sort of magic that reminds us why we love music so much; it gives us the ability to leave the earth for a few minutes and just enjoy life. I’m already looking forward to more music from Illenium and until then you can catch me listening to ‘Awake’ on repeat.
‘Illenials’ had nothing but positive feedback for the producer:
“Beautiful sound design. Genius melodies. Illenium has gone the extra mile with this album” – Harry Williams
“Best album since Worlds. Production levels out of this world. Absolutely blew my mind. We were hyped but there’s no way we could have expected this” – Dominic Leblanc