ALBUM REVIEW: Alison Wonderland fully emerges on ‘AWAKE’

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Aussie producer Alison Wonderland has achieved great things in the dance music space. She’s already the highest-billed female DJ ever at Coachella with her billing at Coachella 2018. She’s played main stages at music festivals the world over. With the release of her sophomore full-length record AWAKE on April 6 via EMI Records, the talented producer has proven she’s only getting started.

One minute and seconds into the 2:19 long introductory track to AWAKE, the first drop readies and the first vocals on the album appear: “Is it good enough?” The great thing is the bass drop and high-level production in those first moments confirm that fuck yes, it is more than good enough.

Dance music is not my main genre of choice, but this record feels inclusive of even those like me whose casual listening isn’t dominated by EDM. It’s one thing I’ve always loved about music festivals is it takes music consistently experienced in the stuffy environment of a club and makes it accessible to those who don’t feel at home in that environment. I feel like that is felt fully on AWAKE as well.

Each song is completely unique from one another — it’s impossible to say the producer’s new record is like Michael Cera playing the same role in every movie he’s in. She traverses orchestral arrangements like on the opening track to trap bangers like “Okay”. On “Easy” we hear Wonderland’s own vocals float over a soothing and uplifting production.

AWAKE also sees Alison Wonderland work with an interesting cache of collaborators including rappers Chief Keef and Trippie Redd. The latter is on an almost Tame Impala psychedelic trip of a song called “High” — one of the few times I feel like autotune adds to a song.

As I said earlier this album feels inclusive to people whose primary genre isn’t EDM — it is also going over well with hardcore EDM fans and publications. YourEDM and Dancing Astronaut are two among a sea of publications given the album thumbs up — they do a better job of technically breaking down the record’s brilliance. I can only tell you how this album makes me feel, which is happy and one of the first EDM records I want to listen to front-to-back.

She’s also a joy to see live and with back-to-back sets at Coachella 2018 in the books, you can catch her at Bonnaroo.

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