Wonderland - MODULAR
FILTER Grade: 82%
By Laura Studarus on February 19, 2014
Eric Berglund’s power of provocation will never be questioned. Although having graduated from baseball-bat-wielding electro duo The Tough Alliance to making solo music as ceo, the Swedish musician spent his 2010 debut album alternating between a sneer and smirk. While Berglund still seems intent on taking a sideways swipe at pop culture, his sophomore album Wonderland is full of elegant contradictions, bridging the gap between bratty and Balearic. Sure, there’s still a generous helping of inexplicable samples—a haunted house shriek here, what sounds like a prayer in tongues there. But deployed over a lush bed of synths and coupled with the occasional ethereal vocal that would make Jónsi blush with delight, ceo’s purpose isn’t so much to shock but expand Berglund’s palette of possibilities, which is as beautiful as it is weird. If that doesn’t sound extraordinary, consider this—that bouncy single you’ve been humming along to? Yup, it’s called “Whorehouse.” Well played, Berglund.