Alison Wonderland’s ‘Awake’ Gives EDM The Female Perspective It Sorely Lacks

Editorial Director, Music


The RX is Uproxx Music’s stamp of approval for the best albums, songs, and music stories throughout the year. Inclusion in this category is the highest distinction we can bestow, and signals the most important music being released throughout the year. The RX is the music you need, right now.

I just wanna make a grown man cry.

All week, this buzzy, tongue-in-cheek lyric from Alison Wonderland’s “Cry” has been running through my head. I can’t help but smile every time I hear it, relishing the jittery beat and sly misandry. The lyric strikes me as funny, since the myth that women are out to hurt men has endured in perpetuity, even though the facts about domestic violence, assault, rape, and murder tell a markedly different story.

Statistically, the most dangerous force in the lives of women are the men closest to them, who routinely abuse them, as an overwhelming outcry of stories within the #MeToo movement has recently highlighted. Comedian Louis C.K. had a popular bit about how the most dangerous thing a woman could do is go on a date with a man, after he was outed for sexual misconduct of his own, the joke was less funny — and even more true.

The subtext of “Cry” is positive and consensual, if a little toxic, and maybe not designed to get into anything as deep as I’m taking it, but while navigating the waves of sexism and stories of assault that keep rolling in throughout the news cycle, this tiny, sharp lyric stuck with me. It’s a small rebellion, thick with sarcasm and light in tone, a pop weapon conjured up to fight a losing battle. Given the allusion in her artist name to Wonderland, or a dream world used to escape reality, it’s not surprising that Alison is able to expertly wield this trope.

And it’s the small and bright moments like that one that make Alison Wonderland — aka Alexandra Sholler — stand out in the overcrowded field of EDM. Her sophomore album, Awake, is among the best records I’ve heard all year, and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if she’s a household name by the end of 2018. Already a towering figure in the EDM world, this record offers plenty of moments for Alison to crossover into pop and hip-hop, and it’d be foolish to ignore the way she’s expertly blended elements from all three on this record.

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