Album Review: “Awake” by Alison Wonderland

27867580_10157216706016562_560513093906138311_nI found today’s artist back in the summer of 2016, I really wanted to find more female DJs, as I was getting to the bottom of Krewella’s music library on Spotify and I basically made it my mission to find more female based music, and with that I found Jes, Brooklyn, Helena, NERVO, Anna Lunoe, Magda, Gina Turner and finally Alison Wonderland. Apparently Australia has a fairly large selection of female DJs because half of that list above, is made up of Australian women!

Alison Wonderland, whose real name is Alex, released her debut album “Run” back in 2015. I’ve been loving the crap out of it since I discovered it, truth be told, out of all the albums I put into my female DJs playlist on Spotify, it’s the most played and no, I’m not joking! So when I found out that she was releasing a new album, I was so excited! It’s hard to describe her music in general. I’d say it’s trap mixed in with some chill music too. It’s been a nice balance so hopefully this album, titled “Awake” will be somewhat of the same of her last record, but I’m also hoping for something different too.

We start off with “Good Enough” and already we have this like circus-y type of sound in the introduction, and then we have this very orchestral element added on top of it. If you didn’t know, she was trained playing the cello, so this could very well be her in these moments. I actually love it, because for one it’s short and sweet, but it keeps you entertained and wondering else is coming. Second is “No” and something else you’ll notice with her music is that these are sung by her unless told otherwise. This song is very different, besides sounding like a regular EDM song, I kind of get this vibe that it’s ideal for the summer that’s fast approaching here! It’s fairly mellow and surprisingly, I really like it too.

“Okay” is the third track and we have a totally different sound, it has this out of the box quality that I’m always looking for, but it’s also quiet in a way. The beat and lyrics don’t sound too crazy, you still get a nice groove and it’s well-balanced. It’s good. We move onto “Easy” and without playing into the actual word too much, it’s a nice easy going type of song. I like the fact that you can actually hear the lyrics in this song, because the beat itself is very laid back, more like pop oriented. I’d consider that a good thing to all of my hardcore EDM fans out there! If it’s released as a single, it could do well on mainstream radio stations. Next we have “High” and it features Trippie Redd. I vaguely remember listening to this once when it first came out, but I quickly turned it off because I wanted to save it for this review! This is a little cukoo, and I say that in the nicest way possible! It’s very chill, synthpop-ish too. It’s very bass-y though and I really enjoy that, everybody loves a good bass drop and this has it, but the entire track has this ominous vibe that adds an edger element that I also love too.

Next we move on to our first of a matchup with another fellow DJ, this one is “Here 4 U” and it has BLESSUS in it. Honestly, I thought it was “High” because in the beginning of this track, it continues that same chill beat, so I thought we were still going but then I noticed that the male vocals had changed and I realized we had really moved onto another track entirely! I really like this one, it’s more upbeat and has this trance-like sound to it, which is interesting because this isn’t her style at all, so maybe this is BLESSUS added twist to it. It’s really good though. We now have the song that signaled that she was releasing new music, “Church” and at first, I didn’t like it because of the light sound she was going for with this track, but as I’ve been listening to the others, I actually like it a little bit more. Since the beat is so dimmed, you can really hear the lyrics and possibly the meaning behind it, so I’m glad I’ve changed my mind about it.

The eigth track is “Cry” and again, I am loving the lyrics and I have to say there’s nothing wrong with men crying! Anyways, this has summer-y based vibe, at least when we entered the choruses, it was the first thing that popped into my head. I don’t usually like music that is released close to or in the middle of summer that sounds like the season, that was one of the reasons why I didn’t really like Imagine Dragons’s new album! Since this is like the second track that is giving me that type of vibe, I don’t necessarily hate it too much! Now we go into one of my favorite tracks ever! “Happy Place” is next and weirdly enough, I’ve been listening to it so much that I think it’s inspiring me to write about my happy place on here. This track is everything that got me interested in Alison Wonderland in the first place. The bass, air-y vocals, and just fun atmosphere while listening to it. It’s awesome!

Tenth is “Good Girls Bad Boys” and when I saw this title, I was very intrigued on what this would sound like, especially after such a banger like the last one. I actually like the pop-y beginning and the slow build to the actual beat itself. It kind of has this urban feel to it, with the usage of record scratches, to be quite honest, it just brought me back to what dance music used to sound like, which was a little weird at first, because it actually starts off sort of modern, and then ends in this backspin of elements of hip hop and techno. I thought it was cool! Next we have “Dreamy Dragon” – I love how DJs title their songs. You can never really know what you’re getting after reading something like that, but this features rapper Chief Keef in it. Again, we have a very modern, light take to this track. I had a hard time not dancing to it, that’s all I can say about it!

We’re almost done, we’ve entered the last three songs, while one being an interlude called “Hope” and the best way I can explain interludes is that they can be an extra introduction to the next song or a short track in general; they’re usually under a minute long. Next we have another matchup track called, “Sometimes Love” this has SLUMBERJACK on it. This one is kind of milder compared to the other one. The bass drops are nice and it keeps me dancing and in a good mood all throughout, so that’s a plus! I didn’t really mesh with it the first time I heard it, but the second time around was better! Lastly, there’s “Awake” and this starts off very chill and I thought this would be a good idea to end the album like this, but then I started to realize in a way I was eating my words in a way because usually I enjoy bangers in the beginning and ending, but maybe my tastes are changing the longer I do this? I don’t know, but I really liked the gentleness of this song.

So now that we’re finished, I have to say I was fairly surprised with this record. It wasn’t anything that I thought it would, but honestly I liked being proved wrong. I like surprises when it comes to some of my favorite artists and bands. I will admit though, I actually haven’t listened to “Run” all the way through, I’ve always made plans of doing it, but something was there to distract me so thankfully I decided to put it on review list so I can finally say I’ve listened to an Alison Wonderland album! I know I’m a sad individual, but it’s a proud moment for me!

Have you listened to Alison Wonderland’s new album “Awake” yet? What did you initially think about the record as a whole? If you enjoyed it, do you have any favorite songs yet?

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2 thoughts on “Album Review: “Awake” by Alison Wonderland

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