If you follow whatsgood. a little bit you probably know that we’re huge fans of the 140 kilo’s weighing, vast ginger beard rockin’ chef-turned-rapper known as Action Bronson. With the release of his highly anticipated major label debut album he adds Mr Wonderful to his already extensive list of aliases – such as “Bam Bam Bigalow”, “Bronsolino”, “Mr. Baklava” and “Ill Prosciutto”. With a typically boastful album title like that and consistent releases of high quality mixtapes such as Blue Chips, Well Done, Bon Appetit ….. Bitch!!!!!and Saab Stories that followed up his amazing independent debut album Dr. Lecter since 2011, the bar is set pretty high. But he lives up to it!
The four tracks that preceded the release of Mr. Wonderful – “Easy Rider”, “Actin Crazy”, “Terry” and “Baby Blue” – already made clear the album was going to sound different than most of Bronson’s previous work, which mainly harked back to classic 90’s hip hop. Although he also took a shot at some trap beats on Saab Stories as well as the single “Muslim Wedding”. And he proved he could rap on literally anything with tracks such as “Pepe Lopez” (Blue Chips 2) – on which he skillfully rapped on The Champ’s “Tequila”. On “Bronson Hard Lemonade” (Bon Appetit …..Bitch!!!!!) he stated:
“I rhyme over any motherf#cking beat, man!”
It’s important to remember Action’s personality while listening to this album: shameless, unapologetic and funny as shit. Think about his running around the block in the middle of a show during his Bluechips 2 Tour in the UK, after which he returned back on stage and finished his performance.
Bronson’s personality has always seeped through in his music and luckily it does so as well on Mr. Wonderful. So when you hear tracks like “City Boy Blues”, “A Light in the Addict”, “Baby Blue” and “Only in America”, remember his authentic personality that unapologetically does whatever is true to him.
The opening track “Brand New Car” sets the tone. A few lines in, Action has to clear his throat before counting off to restart the beat produced by Mark Ronson. At the end of the track he fucks up his verse. After shouting: “I can’t even get this fucking right. Are you kidding me? I’m ashamed of myself. I’m sorry”, the track abruptly comes to an end.
The second track “The Rising” is one of our favorite tracks on the album. Bronsolino sounds eager as ever flowing nicely on the gospel inspired production by Statik Selektah. And the lines: “My mother said I better win or else she’ll fuck me up/ Ma we did it, I love you, you lucky slut”, put a smile on our face.
The next two tracks – “Terry” and “Actin Crazy” – were pre-released to the album, the latter accompanied by a genius music video.
“Actin Crazy” might be our favorite track on the album. The beat, produced by 40 and Omen, sounds like something MF Doom or Madlib could have made for their Madvillain album and Action’s characteristic voice and flow fits it like a glove.
On “City Boy Blues” Bronson is not rapping but singing! And not without merit, we must add. He seems to have been influenced by the likes of The Doors and he actually sounds a tiny bit like Jim Morrison every now and then. Although we've heard Action sing before on tracks like “Bronson Hard Lemonade” (Bon Appetit …..Bitch!!!!!), this to our knowledge is the first time he sings on an entire track.
After blues inspired “Light in the Addict” on which Bronson shows off his singing skills once again, it’s time for one of the funniest verses on the album on the track “Baby Blue”. It’s not by Action himself, but by Chance The Rapper. On a production by Mark Ronson that probably has the biggest hit potential, Chance wishes all types of bad things upon his ex: “I hope you never get off Fridays and you work at a Friday’s that’s always busy on Fridays”.
“Only in America” is a Classic Rock influenced track produced by Oh No and makes it clear why Action is sporting the ZZ Top beard. “Galactic Love” features a type of beat that we’re used to from Bronson. The very simple production by The Alchemist has no kicks or snares, just hi-hats and cymbals. At first, this track might seem to be just a filler, but we feel this might actually be the hidden gem of the record.
The next track “The Passage” is a live recording. It’s an homage to Acid Rock and is a perfect lead into the bangin’ final track of the album: “Easy Rider”.