CEO – Wonderland

Album Review by Bram E. Gieben | 30 Jan 2014
  • CEO – Wonderland
Album title: Wonderland
Artist: CEO
Label: Modular
Release date: 3 Feb

This is an incredibly strange record. The experimentation with polished pop and avant garde electronics recalls Canada's Doldrums, but where Doldrums transfigured a diverse stew of influences into anthemic psych-rock techno jams, CEO instead briefly occupy bizarre, ill-considered sonic realms. Glam rock drums meet cheesy synth-pop and twisted lyrics on WHOREHOUSE; HARAKIRI is expansive new age elevator music; while decadent R 'n' B and hip-hop rhythms are blended with twee K-Pop melodies on MIRAGE. Which, on paper, sounds kind of awesome.

However, this record is a mess – both under-written and over-crowded, with CEO's CEO Eric Berglund seemingly determined to fit a series of square pegs into round holes. At its most abstract – the woozy orchestration and 'la la la' lyrics of IN A BUBBLE ON A STREAM – it is almost tolerable, but when the chipmunk vocals of the near-unlistenably overworked title track kick in, you'll be ready to switch off. [Bram E. Gieben]