Over the past couple of years Sydney DJ and producer Alison Wonderland has brought her energetic and memorable sets to festivals, warehouses and clubs across Australia. Experimenting with new sounds and songwriting techniques she decided to write and produce an album that she would also showcase her vocal talents on. The result is the dynamic debut album “Run” which sees her paving a road for further success.
Electronic music can be quite versatile and complex and Wonderland’s songwriting techniques showcase this quite well. Resonating similarities with Tove Lo and Ellie Goulding she has been able to be sincerely honest with her lyrics and not fall into the generic EDM styled lyrics that many producers sadly do. Production wise the album does heavily rely on repetitive synths and some generic beat drops to fulfill the 43 min length. With a background as a Cellist I would have loved to hear her experiment with her classic instrumental influence to give her music a thicker and complex sound. “Already Gone” sees her dabbling with this concept and gradually building the mood and energy of the song. It’s not the best representation but it’s on the right track.
Opening track “Run” sets the mood and tone for the album with a griping hook that will stay in your head. “I needed you another way, giving u won’t break me”. The tight production and slight beat break downs make this my favourite track off the album. It really stamps Alison Wonderland. The opening line of ‘U Don’t Know” has her questioning the industry; “No one knows you better than yourself. Tryna tell me all this faking sells, I see what it really is….Honest words will never fizz”. While in “Naked” she says something most people can relate to feeling; “It’s always easy to say you love me when I’m naked”. Collaborating with hot up and comers Safia “Take It To Reality” is a hit waiting to be released and combines both acts unique dance sounds together to create one memorable track that leans toward the indie dance sound.
One thing Alison didn’t want this album to be was a “collaborative record”. She wanted to showcase her raw talent and she did that seemingly well. She did have guest appearances from Safia, Wayne Coyne, Brave and Johnny Nelson & Ganz who brought their unique sounds to these cool tracks. Her songwriting skills is what impressed me most. They are so relatable, real and at times therapeutic.
“Carry On” and “I Want U” are standalone good songs but they are generic and in this collection of material you can’t help but feel a bit unsatisfied. I found her vocal delivery intriguing on “Games” and kept me wanting more but I snoozed pretty hard on “One More Hit” even though the beat was moderately good. Luckily she stepped up her game with the fierce “Ignore”. “Back It Up” and one of my personal favourites “Cold”. The production one these tracks were a lot more experimental and implemented some interesting break downs.
As a debut album “Run” explores Alison Wonderland as a singer, songwriter and producer. Her lyrical endeavors are on point, her singing is soothing and the production is fierce but at times it is generic. For future releases she should experiment with her classical roots because if executed correctly that sound could open a lot of doors.
Best to be played; LOUD