Review Summary: Huge nostalgic 80’s dance vibes meet modern electronic production.
With all due respect to the artist, I really was not expecting Superdream
to be very good. That stance came partially out of ignorance – I’ve heard so much bland electronic pop in recent years that I’ve resorted to a dismissive attitude to save myself the time and aggravation of having to listen to the same generic formulas get rolled out under a different name. However, Big Wild has altered that stance. Here, huge nostalgic 80’s dance vibes meet modern electronic production. It's vibrant, soulful, and hook-laden. In short, it just makes you want to get up and move around.
is absolutely brimming with both creative and kinetic energy. It’s a very mainstream/accessible kind of sound, but it unabashedly embraces that role. The vocals recall Børns at his happiest, as Jackson Stell – the DJ/producer/engineer behind Big Wild – glides between the ever-shifting atmospheres that comprise this animated debut. The album resides in that ever-shrinking area of overlap between the public radio/mainstream and artistic merit.
The record’s appeal can be found in little moments. Stell (aka “Big Wild”) packs a lot of ingenuity into these tidily manufactured electro-pop songs, and each creative flourish adds a splash of color to keep Superdream
sounding fresh. The miniature blast beats in ‘Joypunks’ rejuvenate listeners right as they might be on the verge of writing the beginning of the record off as a retread. ‘6’s to 9’s’, featuring Rationale, is a soulful throwback with an astronomical chorus that’s truly addicting. The sudden inundation of pan flutes on ‘No Words’ – matched stride for stride with an almost tribal drumming rhythm – will make one feel like he’s drifted off to somewhere exotic. On ‘Mopsy’s Interlude’ that moment
comes with the criss-crossing of rich, twangy synths and thumping hip-hop beats, which are eventually shown the door by a gorgeous acoustic guitar outro. Every song has a twist
that prevents it from sounding quite like anything currently cycling through the airwaves.
is delightfully out of left field. It simply exudes fun
, and doesn’t sacrifice its integrity in the process. These are still pop songs at heart, designed to hook you in and to entertain. The thing is, the album actually does that – consistently. It’s an awesome blend of nostalgia and youth, at various points it sounds like it could have been straight out of the disco craze while at other times proving its merits with complex electronic arrangements. It’s basic enough in premise to feel like it should be a guilty pleasure, but the more you dig into these compositions, you’ll start to realize that there’s some real brilliance behind all the bombast.