Action Bronson
Mr. Wonderful


4.0
excellent

Review

by cmaitland421 USER (48 Reviews)
March 25th, 2015 | 98 replies


Release Date: 03/24/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Bronsolino's major-label debut is simply wonderful.

Aside from perhaps Los Angeles, there is not a more prolific city in the world for hip-hop than New York City. Everyone from pioneering icons like Notorious B.I.G. and Nas to modern stars like Joey Bada$$ and Flatbush Zombies have risen from various neighborhoods in the city to achieve greatness in the genre. Of the Big Apple's latest wave of hip-hop stars, there's none finer than Action Bronson, who hails from the Flushing neighborhood in Queens. Bronson's gritty flow, amusing lyrics and frequent collaborations with top-flight producers have made one of the consistently exciting rappers in the game since he arrived on the scene in 2011. Bronson's long-awaited major label debut, Mr. Wonderful, sees him expanding his musical cannon a bit without forgoing any of the quirkiness he's known for.

For about 75% of Mr. Wonderful, Bronson is just doing what he does best: drop abstract verses over off-kilter, sample-heavy beats. With his choice to bring in a majority of the producers (The Alchemist, Party Supplies, Statik Selektah) that have worked on his mixtapes over the years to produce over half of Mr. Wonderful, it's clear that Bronson wanted to emulate his past success on his first high-profile project. This decision proves to be quite successful as all of the tracks he record with his longtime collaborators are killer. Tracks like the jazzy "Terry", psychedelic-guitar driven "Easy Rider" and the intense yet rousing "The Rising" are amongst the best material Bronson has ever dropped. Bronson is still dropping a plethora of oddball lines with pop-culture references that most people will need to Google to understand and occasionally stumbling over his lines, it just sounds a bit more polished and professional than his previous material. After making a name for himself on nothing but self-released, independent projects, it's great to see that Bronson is still himself now that he has a big record label to answer to.

Bronson sticking to his guns and crafting another batch of highly entertaining songs on Mr. Wonderful isn't surprising in the slightest. Where Mr. Wonderful deviates substantially from the script is on the the three song, blues-inspired rock opera that appears in the middle of the record. Even for someone as notoriously odd as Bronson, putting a full-blown rock opera amongst a bunch of hip-hop songs is a seemingly bonkers decision. As odd as it sounds on paper, these tracks end up being pretty solid on the whole. The completely clean-sung "City Boy Blues" backfires due to way too heavy of a reliance on Bronson's rough singing voice, but the latter two track in the suite, "A Light in the Addict" and "Baby Blue", manage to deliver. "A Light in the Addict" features shockingly subdued rapping from Bronson and a beautiful extended blues guitar solo while "Baby Blue"- a breakup ballad produced by Mark Ronson of "Uptown Funk" fame- is able to overcome a slightly annoying hook with excellent verses from both Bronson and Chance the Rapper, who is early contender for guest verse of the year with his hilarious turn here. While this rock opera is a completely unexpected curveball that will certainly piss off and/or confuse the hell out of some of his fans, it's a well-constructed detour that brings a bit of dynamism to Bronson's traditional formula.

Mr. Wonderful certainly won't win over any of Bronson's detractors, but anyone who's previously enjoyed the abstract ramblings of Bronsolino should find a lot to like here. Bronson is the perfect antithesis to the Kendrick Lamar's and J. Cole's of the world. His music doesn't try to be anything more than unique, clever and fun, and he's almost always successful in achieving that goal. Bronson is exactly the type of bold, unabashedly strange voice hip-hop needs right now, and Mr. Wonderful is some of his finest work to-date.



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user ratings (193)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
cmaitland421
March 25th 2015


407 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Feedback/comments/verbal abuse welcome and appreciated as always.

ParanoidAndroid96
March 25th 2015


1390 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

need to check this

ShitsofRain
March 25th 2015


8037 Comments


only skipping the interlude and the blues



Digging: Dark0 - Xenotype

Mewcopa0
March 25th 2015


1878 Comments


I liked City Boy Blues. In fact, every time he sings on here I really liked it. Even the off key stuff has a charm to it.

CapnJizz
March 25th 2015


530 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Great review. I've enjoyed his previous material and I plan to check this out later this week.

Funeralopolis
March 25th 2015


14081 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

complete trash tbh

Digging: Carpe Noctem - In Terra Profugus

cmaitland421
March 25th 2015


407 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"I liked City Boy Blues. In fact, every time he sings on here I really liked it. Even the off key stuff has a charm to it."



Fair enough. I liked the singing on Brand New Car, but that's about it.







ShitsofRain
March 25th 2015


8037 Comments


complete trash


digging kendrick

wtferrothorn
Contributing Reviewer
March 25th 2015


5779 Comments


Mr. Wonderful > New Earl Sweatshirt
come at me

VaxXi
March 25th 2015


4137 Comments


So is 2015 the good hip-hop revival year?

cmaitland421
March 25th 2015


407 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Based on the first three months, absolutely. Hopefully the rest of the year's releases can keep up.

wtferrothorn
Contributing Reviewer
March 25th 2015


5779 Comments


new kanye is still on its way.

Gameofmetal
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2015


10194 Comments


Nice review as usual. pos'd

Been getting into rap and hip hop lately but I still don't know much. Is this pretty easy to get into for a newbie?

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2015


8492 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"Baby Blue" rules but the rest is kind of eh

Digging: Godflesh - Post Self

cmaitland421
March 25th 2015


407 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Is this pretty easy to get into for a newbie?"



Absolutely. Only thing that's potentially off-putting is the zaniness of the lyrics and the roughness of singing.



oltnabrick
March 25th 2015


35835 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

worst bronson besides Saaab Stories

Brostep
Emeritus
March 25th 2015


4314 Comments


should be "off-kilter" in the beginning of P2 but otherwise solid review. so much hip-hop to catch up on rn

ellagos
March 25th 2015


210 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"Baby Blue" rules but the rest is kind of eh [2]



I couldn't get into this, I dug the guitars in "Only in America" but a lot of this album was pretty flat



tommygun
March 25th 2015


26713 Comments


more like pretty fat

"haha"

cos he's fat

:D

deathschool
March 25th 2015


21928 Comments


: (

He's very sensitive about his weight.



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