Swedish electro-pop artist ceo released his sophomore album, Wonderland, on Tuesday in the United States. The album is a colorful blend of electronic beats, orchestral instruments and complex vocal layering.
Eric Berglund, formerly part of Swedish duo the Tough Alliance, is ceo. He began this solo project with the help of producer Kendal Johansson in June 2010 after the Tough Alliance’s third album, New Chance, was released.
His first solo album, White Magic, introduced ceo into the world of Swedish electro-pop music with its use of spoken sound bites and a unique mix of instrumental and synthesized musical composition. He has a sound reminiscent of ‘80s pop, with an upbeat lyrical style that blends electronic musical patterns almost reminiscent of bubblegum pop throughout the album.
A playful and experimental sound permeates through each song in Wonderland.
The album’s title track, “Wonderland,” utilizes unconventional sound elements backed up by synthesized dance beats with an obvious Swedish influence.
The track takes you through an experience similar to what one might encounter when traveling through a Willy Wonka or Candyland-like atmosphere. It appeals to a childlike sense of wonder with a dark and twisted taste.
It features a very childlike resonance along with dark undertones. Similar tracks such as “OMG” have very chaotic and animalistic noises that appeal to a certain id within the listener. Listeners may feel as if they’re watching a horror movie one minute, and then want to get up and dance the next minute.
The album contains eight tracks, ranging from more calming melodies with smooth sound elements to hard dance beats that are typical of the Swedish electro-pop style.
Wonderland kicks off with a punchy pop track, “Whorehouse.” The song’s high amounts of energy get the album going strong and grasp the listener’s attention. The use of electronic sounds and beats is a staple for ceo’s music in songs like “Mirage” and “Ultrakaos.”
Their rhythmic melodies and percussion make Wonderland the perfect soundtrack to any party or club scene.
The conflicting tones of softness and anxiety take the listener through a satisfying and entertaining journey. Each song explores elaborate emotional themes using both their engaging lyrics and compelling sounds.
In songs like “Harikiri” and “Juju,” the band takes a break from its usual high-energy sound for a lighter and more easy-listening tone. Simplistic instrumentals and reverb-soaked vocals create relaxing and uplifting melodies.
Atmospheric and oceanic sounds float among the electronic tones and create an even balance in the album.
Wonderland will appeal to any mainstream pop music lover while offering a unique and original style. Even those who don’t necessarily enjoy pop music can appreciate the album’s fluid contemporary indie sounds.
The album is released under the Modular Recordings label. Eric Berglund is also the co-owner of the label Sincerely Yours, which boasts artists like Air France, Memory Tapes and Honeydrips on its roster.