Steve Aoki’s got a lot on his plate with all that he does with Dim Mak. Music, clothes, club promotions. Plus, he’s been busy making names for other artists like MSTRKRFT, The Bloody Beetroots, Dada Life and Bloc Party, but he doesn’t seem to do much releases for himself other than remixes and the occasional EP and singles until now.
The famed DJ/Producer’s debut full length album Wonderland features a ton of guest artists on the tracks which include LMFAO, Lovefoxxx, Kid Cudi, Travis Barker, Lil Jon and our personal favourite guest on the album, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer.
Usually when a star DJ decides to do a pop album and tries to fit their sound for pop arrangements, they fade into the background as the featured singer takes on the role of being the star on the track. And we’re talking music wise, forget the media attention… their constant focus on singers is a given. But on Wonderland, Steve Aoki shows who’s the real talent with his uncompromising bass drops and waves of “whoop-wheep-woow-wao-bleep-bloop-whoop-whoops”.
You’re probably already familiar with lead single, ‘Turbulence’ that has Laidback Luke and Lil Jon on it. The track itself (which only appears on the album as bonus tracks if you bought it digitally on iTunes) is not really Aoki’s best work, but it was a promising peek at what was to come on Wonderland.
It’s pretty hard for us to admit this, but the best track on the album is definitely ‘Livin’My Love’. Yeah that’s right. The one with LMFAO on it. This song is probably Aoki’s best bet on going far as a mainstream artist, without selling out as the cool hipster DJ he is now. ‘Cudi the Kid’ is a nice change of pace for something a little more serious on the album. It features Kid Cudi rapping about the pains of growing up over Travis Barker beating the sh!t out of the drums, though it’s Aoki’s bass drops that really make the track a stand out.
But that’s not to say we love the entire album. ‘Earthquakey People’ is pretty awesome the first few times, mainly because you still can’t believe it’s Rivers Cuomo on a Steve Aoki track but after that awesome first few times, the novelty runs out. And you start to realise that it’s the cries of a man going through a middle-age crisis.
Wonderland works as a great introduction for Steve Aoki into pop radio world, as a an artist in his own right rather than just another music producer looking for some screen time. It’s a fun album that’s not meant to be taken too seriously. Even if you do, there aren’t that many flaws to poke at anyway, so stop hatin’.
LISTEN TO: ‘Earthquakey People’ ‘Livin’ My Love’ ‘Control Freak’ ‘Steve Jobs’ ‘Cudi the Kid’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: Dada Life, Afrojack, Crookers
1. EARTHQUAKEY PEOPLE
2. LADI DADI
4. COME WITH ME
6. LIVIN’ MY LOVE
7. CONTROL FREAK
8. STEVE JOBS
10. CUDI THE KID
12. THE KIDS WILL HAVE THEIR SAY
13. EARTHQUAKEY PEOPLE (THE SEQUEL)