Alison Wonderland Delivers On Her Second Record, ‘Awake.’
In a matter of years, Alison Wonderland has risen from Soundcloud sensation to EDM queen. The Australian hit-maker has evolved from her humble beginnings in Sydney to make waves around the world, most recently being billed as the highest female DJ in Coachella history. Wonderland’s success is validated on ‘Awake,’ her latest record, in which her talent for pulling from trap, EDM and pop influences are exhibited across many album highlights.
Wonderland opens the album with the question, “Is it good enough?”, a refrain that builds up to a drop of epic proportions on “Good Enough.” The opening track finds itself as rather self-aware, with Wonderland begging the question to an audience that would expect nothing but the best following her stellar first album, and thus you can’t help but revisit this question as the record progresses.
This question is already satisfied in the third track, “Open”, which exhibits Wonderland in her element as melodic vocals are expertly crafted around a drop that will inevitably bide well in the club or her notoriously rowdy live show. On that note, it should go without saying that the majority of this tracklist showcases her knack for dancefloor bangers, with raging tunes like “Here 4 U” “Happy Place” and “Good Girls Bad Boys” all ideal tracks that could slot easily into Wonderland’s live set.
On the other hand, this record additionally finds Wonderland experimenting in a poppier direction, with tracks “Easy”, “Church” and “Cry” all focusing on her own vocals and less on heavier drops. While these tracks possess less of an impact than their heavy dance counterparts, it is nonetheless refreshing to hear another sound. In spite of these two differing styles, both sides of the album are expertly paced and never overbearing in its frequency, leaving the album with a polished listening experience.
Several high-profile collaborations also stand out throughout the record, namely with rising rapper Trippie Redd and hip-hop heavyweight Chief Keef. While both tracks demonstrate Wonderland’s ability to produce well for other artists, it’s the collaboration with EDM stalwart Slumberjack that provides the greatest result, a collaboration worthy of the hype it brings as the duo succeeds in nailing a banger that any fan of the artists will absolutely adore.
Following this chaotic collaboration, the album ends on its title track, a rather sombre pop ballad that finds Wonderland singing about coming to terms with herself as an artist, and ultimately provides a sound conclusion to her second album. All in all, it is without a doubt that Wonderland’s question of “Is it good enough” is answered well and truly with a resounding yes by the end of this album.
Written by Jack Gobbe
Photos by Mitch Lowe at Brisbane’s Scarehouse Project.