Remember when you were about five or six years old? You were in your parents car, probably the back seat, and a classic song by Boston, or some other band from that period, would come on the radio. I remember thinking, this shit is so cool. It was loud, raunchy and catchy all at the same time. Action Bronson, whose favorite artist is Billie Joel, has made it cool to mesh classic rock samples with contemporary hip hop on his latest album Mr. Wonderful.
Action Bronson has been around for quite some time now. We’ve come to love his witty, joke filled rhyme scheme that really got noticed on Blue Chips 2. With his debut album Mr. Wonderful finally upon us, it was only right that we review it. Honestly, the album itself is a beautiful piece of work. The only gripe I have with it is that there were too many single put out before the initial release. The album is cohesive and flows like water. It is just too bad that the team behind Action let so many songs loose before the release date. Now, onto the music.
The album starts off with “Brand New Car,” featuring a Billy Joel sample, surprise surprise. Action sings to the best of his ability about his new car and jazz guitar and then spits two verses about everything from pornography to Snapple. “The Rising” is a typical Action song with the outro featuring none other than Big Body Bes, one of our favaorites. Body Language, Big Body’s album, is set to drop in June folks, enough said.
“Terry” and “Actin’ Crazy” are the songs you’ve already heard but both are amazing. “Falconry” featuring Meyhem Lauren and Big Body Bes is the one song that I one day hope to see live. It is as if Bronson and company just stepped out on to the pickup basketball court talking mad trash. Both verses are priceless and then Big Body caps the track off with a great finishing line that I won’t ruin (listen for yourself.)
This next section of the album is where things get different. “Thug Love Story 2017” is an interlude about some crack head experience that leads into a small trilogy of songs; “City Boy Blues,” “A Light In the Addict” and “Baby Blue.” The songs follow a character, presumably Bronson, after he loses his love and his world seems pretty grim.
“City Boy Blues” has Bronson singing the entire song in a grunge-style manner that is mixed so beautifully it actually makes him sound great. You already know what to expect from the Party Supplies assisted “A Light From The Addict,” track is pure gold. “Baby Blue” has Bronson singing again over some Mark Ronson production and a guest verse from Chance The Rapper.
Classic Rock comes back in full effect on “Only In America” and it feels like it could have easily been on the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City soundtrack. “Galactic Love” is a slow jam fueled by a great bass line and accompanying drum beat. “The Passage (Live From Prague)” is actually a live instrumental interlude into the epicness that is “Easy Rider.” The album ends there and leaves nothing to the listener’s imagination.
Action Bronson really does what he wants on his major label debut. It has everything from rap, classic rock, verses from Big Body, slow jams, ballads and more. Some complaints I’ve read were that there’s too many instrumentals and big spaces without rapping, THAT WAS THE PURPOSE!
This is a great album that makes you, want to turn the bass down to hear the guitar, something I have yet to experience on any other hip hop album. Easily Bronson’s best work to date. But next time, don’t release half the album beforehand.
Written by E.L.