Words About Music
Swedish synthpop singer Eric Berglund is another artist I hadn’t come across before crossing into 2014, so I’ll tell you that he pleasantly surprised me with his sophomore LP “Wonderland.” A glance at the album art may make one think that this album is an Empire of the Sun remix album of all their B-sides, but in actuality it’s a very compelling experimental pop album that fuses modern popular synths with the sounds and sampling techniques of 2009-era Animal Collective. Despite the fact that only like four of the eight songs on here are actual songs with lyrics and structure, this group of track is as colorful as it gets without being too forgettable or redundant.
I didn’t at all expect to enjoy “Wonderland” as much as I do, but ceo combines instrumental, lyric, and vocal with effortless capability. The dude is an overall great artist that knows exactly what he wants to do and how he wants to do it. There is nothing at all half-assed about “Wonderland.” If anything, I just wish he spent less time on interludes and more time on songs like “Whorehouse” and “Wonderland” where the rhythm is bouncy and the choruses are catchy. The repetitive interludes—and who needs interludes on an 8-song album anyway?—start and stop without much notice or necessity. I could do with less of them and more full-fledged pop songs, the things that ceo seems to do best.
While I wouldn’t call this the greatest album I’ve ever heard in my life, it is an exciting and uplifting experience with soaring highs and soothing lows. I can’t help but think of Panda Bear and Avey Tare when the layered harmonies come in on songs like “Ultrakaos,” but the similarity is less a copycat and more a tribute. This small group of songs is a ton of fun to listen to at its best, and I’d definitely recommend it to those who enjoy pop music.
Despite the ugly O-face album cover and some of the less-than-appealing interludes, “Wonderland” is an uplifting electronic pop record that properly exemplifies ceo’s skill behind the microphone and behind the producing booth. And to me, that’s more than enough to see this album as a somewhat cohesive and somewhat complete collection of some great tunes.
SCORE – 7.7
FAVORITE TRACKS – Whorehouse, Harakiri, Wonderland, Ultrakaos, OMG