Wild wild Wonderland, Saara Aalto´s first album after her success in X-Factor, is a high quality electropop collection, with a very UK sound. But will the world finally realize, how magnificent Saara is?
Wild wild wonderland is a sort of ”Ready player one” of albums. It’s hard to go for more than 15 seconds without encountering some succulent tidbit of pop nostalgia, most of it from the 1990s. The references are obvious.
In HÄN Saara Aalto sounds like Madonna and Kim Wilde. I´m suddenly ten years old again, sitting with my grandpa in the audience of a Finnish baseball game, cheering with the song. Queens begins with a reminder of the legendary Backstreet boys Everybody and the Halloween theme, and goes on with a hint of early Britney Spears. Monsters is an electronic dancepop song, which brings back Pandora and 2 Unlimited, and the backseat of a car full of teenagers in 1994, jumping around for the subwoofers bouncing. And this goes on. Cher, Kylie Minoque, En vogue, Ace of Base and suddenly I hear a mixture of the sound of my entire childhood around me, with a magical Saara Aalto twist and her stunning technical skills. Also the cover visually imitates the decade. The album, first and foremost, is an explosion of pop-culture ear candy.
Saara Aalto shows she isn´t plastic and not a fairy -barbie doll anymore. The other side of head bold, openly lesbian singer shows the dynamite of being genuine and having accepted oneself, in the whole imperfectness and range of emotions we humans have. That is beautiful. Dance like nobody´s watching manages to touch.
The album sounds and probably is technically carefully produced. Even too carefully? Every song is tightly packed with punchlines and highlights. They are so full and thick, that they barely leave a moment to breath, relax and emotionally start following anything, just letting go. But the ”problem” might be positive: Saara Aalto is too big, for Finland, for a regular person, and especially for CD, or Spotify, or any technical equipment her sound is coming out from. She is just too amazing. She needs room, she needs stages, a stadium. The space might be a rational roof for her singing. The universe.
And she sticks to her style. Wild wild Wonderland looks and sounds like her. Saara Aalto seems to be a strong personality, an ”it´s my way or highway” -artist. We are in hopes this works out, and she can blossom in her full birdlike vivacity, power and theatrical capacity, with roots on a good, rich ground, and spread a lot of joy and beauty around herself and the world. She´s fearless, weird and energetic woman who’s talent seems not to be from this world.
Suomen musiikkiblogi. Asiaa musiikista ja ihan mistä tahansa.