Okay, first off, I hate her hair. I’m never a fan of just piling it on top like that. It just looks tacky. I’m also not a fan of her pose, but the overall concept of the cover works, so I can give it points for that. I don’t have any strong feelings about it either way. It’s just a generally decent cover.
Kicking it off with an intro, Perfection is basically a male voice, skipping and warping in pitch, listing different things apparently wrong with a particular person and mentioning what can cure it, which is supposedly perfection. Between the skipping, warping and what it leads into, you can tell things are pretty wrong here.
And I say this because Wonderland is pretty damn dark. There’s a lot of bass synths and one arpeggio opening the song, before going into a mid-tempo track involving a lot of clicking and sinister choral vocals, all making for a foreboding atmosphere leading into the synth string-laden bridge that leads into the chorus, which takes after the verses instrumentally. The lyrics are pretty deep too, and seem to be about how, while she doesn’t believe in fairy tales, she wants one of her own. Not the deepest song together, but when it all comes together it gets the message across really well, and it’s fairly catchy. Good way to start things off.
Then Free comes on, starting with a short clip of Natalia saying something leading into the verse done by will.i.am (ugh, REALLY?), and then straight into the chorus. The general beat has the same sounds as Wonderland, but it’s got a bit of bright ambiance, shakers and piano thrown in to make it come off as all shiny and bright instead. The weird thing is, I read somewhere that the verse sounds a lot like Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights‘ chorus… Which I thought sounded absurd, but after actually listening to the song, it really is basically an over-produced version of the same damn thing. Which seems like a rather odd choice for a sample about a song relating to money woes. But it’s catchy, and in a world where sampling’s a common thing, it’s not hard to swallow anyway.
Fortunately, Kill My Boyfriend comes along to shake things up. I wasn’t expecting a song so bouncy to come from an album like this, but between the repeating piano notes and the general rhythm of the guitars, it’s quite obvious. Which is strange, when the song appears to be quite literally about killing her boyfriend. Between the guitar-driven verses and the bouncy piano choruses, it’s got enough to keep it stale, yet make it incredibly catchy at the same time. A vast improvement over what we’ve heard so far.
Following Kill My Boyfriend‘s lead, Break You Hard opens with a short guitar burst, though while it sounds like it’d continue, Natalia simply recites “I’m about to break you” before the sound of shattering glass plays and things get all dark and ominous, with a warped laugh and a really deep beat that makes what we heard in Wonderland sound a lot less sinister. So the song already has better beats than anything so far. Then the chorus starts, and Natalia’s singing better than she has as well. So at this stage, things are only starting to get better and better as a whole.
Zombie opens with some buzzing synths and some real video game horror piano music playing under it before the slow jam beat comes in and Natalia starts singing. Now, the first thing I notice here is that her voice is processed beyond what we’ve heard so far, and I don’t really think it suits the song all that much, so that wasn’t a great move for me. The beat’s great, but the vocals just ruin the song. Not as much as they did in, say, LMFAO’s Champagne Showers, but still.
Dark choral vocals start playing as Love Is A Suicide opens, with what almost sounds like Natalia crying spurting in every now and then, before some real 80s style synths start coming in. Now, the melody playing in the verses instantly catches me. When it goes from a quiet buzz to a real warping synth line with all the other effects playing over it, things start getting even better. Then the chorus comes on and just slays the whole damn song, kicking the riffs up a few notches and throwing in some backing vocals to enhance the song. We may have had a little dip with the previous song, but this one manages to take things straight back up, because it’s damn amazing.
Now things start buzzing a bit with Mirrors, still keeping the 80s vibe up as well. Now, I’m not sure what it is about the song… Maybe it’s the way the chorus just suddenly comes in too quickly, maybe it’s the way she’s singing it… But something about it just kills the song entirely, and the general beat isn’t the catchiest either, so this song kind of just flew over my head. I can’t really even think of anything else to say about it, it’s just… Not that good.
Some whispered, distorted mentions of the names of Natalia and the producer open Not In Love, before a guitar with a hell of a lot of reverb comes in with a beat playing underneath it. After this, the song is actually really empty, with just a beat, a general buzzing synth over it and a few bursts of sound effects. When the bridge comes in, some ambiance and synth strings come in to boost things up a bit before going back to basics for the chorus to allow for another build-up. The odd thing is, it never really goes above this, but it’s still catchy. So it’s a bit of an oddball that way, but it’s still good.
Acid Annie goes back to a more rock-influenced sound, not exactly sounding all that dark but being rather sinister at the same time. It’s really nothing that hasn’t been heard before on the album, so I kind of just tune out whenever it comes on. It’s not terrible, but it’s just another one of those songs that isn’t very interesting.
And I’m really starting to lose interest, because now it’s just 80s synths and choral vocals starting things, before yet another song that sounds like Wonderland starts up. Superficial is a song that, if it hadn’t started so late, could have been great. But it even does the same “repeat a word three times in the chorus” thing that Wonderland does, so it just sounds like a lazy addition to the album, so I don’t know what the hell they were thinking here.
I swear this song sounds like it’s on the verge of being another one with a choir in it, but instead Broke just sounds like a simple beat and Natalia’s vocals playing along with some ambient backing. The problem is it still isn’t doing anything to set itself apart. Relying on one sound can work on some albums (Hell, I love Friendly Fires’ Pala to death, as anyone who’s seen that review would know, and that’s basically one long song), but she just isn’t doing it right here. This is something else to skip over, right here.
Heaven starts off with a little but of panning as a little buzz plays, followed by more 80s buzzing and Natalia singing. I’m already bored with the song as it opens, because once again she just sounds like she’s being lazy with everything that doesn’t involve her vocals. It’s another ambient slow jam, through and through, so I’m just done with this song.
Already Nothing Lasts Forever is just doing the exact opposite of what it should be, which means it’s like the rest of the album. The biggest difference here is that the instrumental in the verses is just a damn mess, and the choruses don’t do enough to get me interested in the song. Don’t bother with it.
But who knows. Maybe she’ll go all out and the album with a real bang after what, so far, has been a disappointing album. Nope. That isn’t happening, because If I Was God is just another song that sounds like Wonderland, using the exact same sounds once more. I’m just sitting here right now, rolling my eyes, and all I can think is… REALLY?
Oh, god. Oh, GOD, this album. I’m sorry, I know at least one of you that’ll be looking at this is a huge Natalia Kills fan, and I can respect that. But lord, this album is just a TERRIBLE example of how to go about things. It started out great, don’t get me wrong. Wonderland, Kill My Boyfriend and Love Is A Suicide are all decent songs, and the last is actually spectacular. But the rest of it is just a lazy-ass mess. I can’t even say go for the five tracks shorter American version of the album, because half of it is the worst songs of the bunch! Just don’t bother. Unless you’re a massive Natalia fan or absolutely obsess over what she does in Wonderland to the nth degree, don’t go for this album.