Wednesday 30 Jul
 
 

Sobering sounds

Copperheads with Depth & Current, Dudes of America and Oblivious

10 p.m. Saturday

Opolis

113 N. Crawford Ave., Norman

opolis.org

447-3417

$7

07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Pony expression

Wild Ponies

8 p.m. Sunday

The Blue Door

2805 N. McKinley Ave.

bluedoorokc.com

524-0738

$15

07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Music Made Me: Josh Hogsett

Few, if any, Oklahoma bands have seen a rise as meteoric as Tallows over the past year, yet its seemingly overnight ascension didn’t happen by chance. The Oklahoma City four-piece is well-versed in the ways of modern pop songwriting, drawing from both glitchy electronica and cathartic indie rock in equal measure. Last year, the band pulled off a rare musical feat with its debut album, Memory Marrow, which was steeped heavily in the breadth of recent history yet managed to sound like nothing else before it.
07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Planting the seed

Chelsey Cope’s new band, Elms, is as earthy and native to Oklahoma as the trees that are their namesake. The soulful folk four-piece’s debut EP, Parallel Lines, was recorded at Bell Labs Recording Studio in Norman and is on its way in September. But the band has already given us a tease, with its first single, “Burn,” going live on SoundCloud on July 14.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Commercial rock

Center of the Universe Festival featuring Capital Cities, Young The Giant, AWOLNATION & more
Friday-Saturday
Downtown Tulsa 
centeroftheuniversefestival.com 
$35-$50 

07/22/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Reviews · Pop · Steve Aoki — Wonderland
Pop
 

Steve Aoki — Wonderland


Stick to running your label, Stevie.

Matt Carney February 9th, 2012

Were it not for Steve Aoki, we would have no Dim Mak Records (founded in L.A. in 1996), and, therefore, possibly none of some of the most important electro dance music of the mid-2000s, including but not limited to Canadian house duo MSTRKRFT, rockers Bloc Party or possibly even New York avantists Battles, whose 2004 “B EP” was distributed by said record label.

steveaokiwonderland

The guy’s earned some cred.

However!Wonderland” stumbles right out of the gate when Rivers Cuomo gets as banal as he does on “Earthquakey People” with the late-song climax, “Don’t be afraid to dance / Don’t be afraid to take a chance!” line. Yes, I realize that it’s been a long time since the Weezer front man hasn’t compromised his earliest, best offerings in some form or fashion, but dammit, every time he signs on for something like this, my love for “Pinkerton” and The Blue Album gets tarnished a little darker.

Unfortunately for Aoki, his lax treatment of Cuomo seems to be the modus operandi on “Wonderland,” which is content to let its guest stars adhere to their most tired respective schticks. LMFAO does its goofy, warped-synth “we live our lives in the Playboy Mansion” act; Kid Cudi gives an uninspired verse, but mostly just says, “Can’t stop / Won’t stop” over and over again on “Cudi the Kid”; and Lil’ Jon literally shouts, “A lot of freaky nasty things are gonna go down!” on “Emergency.” As if he couldn’t be any more explicitly clear.

Add a few tracks that run about two or three minutes longer than they ought to in “Steve Jobs” (with its analog video game melody, it’s a pretty piteous, unimaginative homage to a guy who had a lot of imagination) and the Rob Roy-featuring “Ohh”; some very macho, queasy dubstep; and an out-of-left-field appearance by Die Kreuzen, and you’ve got yourself a pretty unappealing and forgettable dance-pop romp.

I’d declare “Wonderland” a total loss were it not for the lead single “Ladi Dadi” and will.i.am’s dancehall-influenced contribution “Dangerous,” under his Zuper Blahq moniker. The former doesn’t distinguish itself from any other typically euphoric house song until Wynter Gordon belts a slutty, sludgy chorus that kicks into a low-end oscillating overdrive for the ages. “Dangerous” doesn’t feel nearly as dangerous as “Ladi Dadi,” but successfully translates some Jamaican dancehall elements into a hypermuscular dance track. It’s still a far cry from Major Lazer, however.

So, yeah, I’d avoid this one. It’s useful dance party fodder, but unless your office happens to be a club, there’s little use for it. 
 
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