Review: Alison Wonderland - Run

2/5 Stars 
Run is the debut album from Alison Wonderland.  Alison Wonderland is the stage name of Alex Sholler, a DJ from Sydney, Australia. 
I found this album from a listing asking for Indie EDM songs featuring female vocals.  Despite not being able to work on a song for the listing, as I don’t really have an exceptionally feminine voice, I really wanted to know what Indie EDM sounded like.  The “Indie” label gets added to a significant amount of listings and always means something different.  This makes all of these listings entertaining, because I get to see what “Indie” means to different people and different genres, and the only way to know what they’re talking about is to listen to the included song suggestions.  Also, I noticed that the suggested song, “U Don’t Know”, featured Wayne Coyne, the singer of the Flaming Lips, so I assumed it was going to be awesome. 
I rate Run two stars out of five. 
Compared to other EDM albums I have tried to listen to… 
(Note:  I have tried listening to albums in all different kinds of EDM genres.  If you are not familiar with EDM, there are roughly a billion different genres.  If you get them mixed up, fans of the offended genre will lynch you, and joyfully desecrate your corpse.  EDM fans can get a little spirited about their chosen genre…) 
…I was exceptionally impressed with this album.  Because most EDM tracks get boxed in by the rules of their particular genre, listening to a full album (for me) quickly descends into wondering whether the track has changed yet, and wears out my interest.   Alison Wonderland manages to string 12 tracks together and keeps them fresh and interesting. 
In the case of this album, I think it is referred to as Indie because of the odd, entertaining, and satisfying quality of the melodies.  Without a doubt, the standout tracks are the ones where Sholler sings a coherent melody.  She has a beautiful voice, which is quite similar to that of Emily Haines, the lead singer of Metric.  Of the twelve tracks, three fade into background music and two are annoying tracks made to be skipped, but are short enough to allow the full album to run as background music if it’s not being paid attention to. 
The highlight of the album is “U Don’t Know”, the track featuring Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.  The track is the lead single off the album and the entertainment value of Wayne Coyne singing on an EDM track continues long past the time when the novelty has worn off.  The melody is fresh and entertaining and her voice mixes fantastically with Wayne’s during the later choruses.  So far I have found this song to be almost infinitely listenable, and have actually put it on repeat and just let it run. 
Other highlights on the album include “Take it to Reality”, “I Want You”, and “Cold”, all of which feature Sholler singing extended melodies (as opposed to some of the other, almost instrumental tracks), and “Ignore”, which is basically the electronic equivalent of someone hitting different metal pipes, but which I find inexplicably entertaining. 
The tracks to skip are “One More Hit” and “Back it Up”, both of which are too rhythmic to fade to background music, and come off as being exceptionally annoying. 
Run gets three stars out of five because it has a couple of truly standout tracks, and manages a coherent tone, without getting boring, but also has a couple truly annoying tracks and fades to background music at times.

Leave a comment