Steve Aoki “Wonderland” Album Review — 4 out of 5 stars
On his proper debut full-length, Wonderland, Steve Aoki does something that no one else has done with an EDM album.
Aoki effectively transmutes the sub-genre diversity of a festival such as HARD or Electric Daisy Carnival into thirteen songs rife with pop prowess. There’s a little dubstep. There’s a little house. There’s a little punk rock. There’s a little pop. Most importantly, there’s a whole lot of attitude from the Dim Mak Records founder and DJ extraordinaire.
Album opener, “Earthquakey People”, rises out of a wondrous left field where geek rock and dance music mingle. Weezer mainman Rivers Cuomo delivers his most devilishly danceable chorus ever as Aoki’s intricate production keeps lights flashing and asses shaking. Wynter Gordon’s gorgeous vocals color “Ladi Dadi” with an infectious intimacy as Aoki crafts a galactic club love song. “Emergency” may very well start its own genre—”dub-Crunk”—as snappy drums bounce alongside Lil Jon and Chiddy Bang.
Aoki’s collaboration with Australia’s finest DJ duo NERVO and LMFAO, “Livin’ My Love”, is the perfect amalgam of the latter’s “party rock”, futuristic hip hop, and the former’s sexy, slick electro. Aoki’s like a conductor flawlessly orchestrating this intoxicatingly irresistible collaboration via his innovative stylings. “The Kids Will Have Their Say” (feat. Sick Boy with former members of The Exploited and Die Kreuzen) brings Aoki back to his hardcore roots with the ultimate amalgam of propulsive dance energy and raw punk fire. Album standout, “Cudi the Kid”, sees Aoki and Kid Cudi float to outer space on a rocket fueled by dubstep and space rock.
Aoki’s innovative style and perspective threads everything together seamlessly, paving the way for the catchiest EDM collection you’ll hear all year. Wait until he assembles this legendary cast of characters for a festival…