Action Bronson – Mr. Wonderful [Review]

Mr. Wonderful

Hello everyone. It’s Nyck Niytro. It’s been awhile since i’ve been here, but now I’m back for my second nappyafro review. You might remember me from the Joey Bada$$ B4.DA.$$ review. With that being my first review I was kinda nervous and new but I felt the album deserved the 3.5 rating I gave it. Now with that out of the way, today we’re reviewing the new Action Bronson album Mr. Wonderful.

For you who don’t know, Action Bronson is a New York emcee who in a short time rose to fame and became a major face in the new era of New York Hip-Hop. Bronson’s lyrics include heavy references to food, WWE wrestling, misogyny, and other common Hip-Hop troupes. Bronson however adds a ton of personality seeming almost like a cartoon character and pulls it off with a nice flow and clever, often hilariously silly lines. Bronson has worked with many new and well known names in East and even West Coast Hip-Hop. Artists such as A$AP Rocky, Chance The Rapper, ScHoolboy Q, French Montana ,Ghostface Killah, Joey Bada$$, and producer The Alchemist (Who which Bronson released collaborative project Rare Chandeliers which was one of my favorite projects of 2013). The only thing keeping me from being a huge fan of this guy is I never felt like his projects were completely consistent.

Following up to the release of the album I’m reviewing, Bronson dropped the singles “Actin’ Crazy”, “Baby Blue”, “Terry”, and “Easy Rider”. Of these singles, i especially loved “Actin Crazy” and “Baby Blue”. My only problem with Mr Wonderful is the singles are really the only meat we get from this album. Bronson’s personality , flow, production, and lyrics are here but it’s packaged between some bad singing, filler tracks, and a short run time. I’ll break this down further in the track by track review.

1. Brand New Car
Produced by Mark Ronson
To start the album off we get what we come to expect from Bronson and his colorful personality as he sings “I Got a Brand New Car” followed by various lines of street life and food in his typical style. This isn’t a very strong intro track but it’s decent. It’s at least hilarious and offered two decent verses. The next track following really makes up for this one.

2. When I Raise
Featuring Big Body Bes; Produced by Statik Selektah
Personally I really enjoy the heavy horns, banging drums, and the soul sample backing the chorus here. Bronson comes out on the attack lyrically. The Big Body Bes feature here isn’t more than an outro. It doesn’t really add anything but doesn’t take anything anyway.

3. Terry
Produced by The Alchemist
Ahhhhh “Terry”. This is one of the string of singles that built hype for this album. I love the smooth sample provided by the one and only Alchemist. The jazzy soulful beat is done justice by Bronson’s display of emotions by starting his verse repeating “Don’t hurt me again”. Going deeper, Bronson is apparently trying to overcome losing a woman he was romantically invested in due to his lifestyle. At the same time using that lifestyle he’s living, he’s also using to overcome losing her. I still think this is a fantastic track with a beat change for an outro that leads to the next single on the album.

4. Actin’ Crazy
Produced by 40, Omen, & Antoine “AudioBLK” Baldwin
My favorite song on the entire album. The banging beat from Noah “40” Shebib (Best known for his work with Drake). This track has a very weird kinda sound almost like a song being played in reverse. The verses from Bronson are top notch. Bronson raps about the pleasures of life after finally making it into the rap game which causes him too, you guessed it, act crazy. I love the opening lines

All my life I was a fuck up, now I pull the truck up
Same bitch stuck up, now she wanna suck us
See me hangin’ out the window, screamin’, ‘What, what?!’

I can say this is the highest point of the album.

5. Falconry
Featuring Mayhem Lauren & Big Body Bes; Produced by The Alchemist
We’re treated to smooth, fast paced Alchemist production but the weak point is the song length. I wish that it were long and maybe a verse from both features instead of one. Here we have one of my favorite lines from Bronson

I was made like the beginning of Jurassic Park
When they took the fucking blood from the mosquito with a dope needle
Then they shot it in a wild lion.

6. Thug Love Story 2017 The Musical (Interlude)
This song acts as intro for the preceding track but it’s very painful to sit though. L.E.S. Ezra, the featured artist, sings a verse about looking for a lost woman that apparently is a metaphor about drugs. The singer sound like a whino out outside a bus center trying to convince you he nearly had a record deal just so you’ll be moved into giving him bus fare. If this is what they were going for, they passed it flawlessly.

Action Bronson by Arman Dzidzovic/New York Observer

7. City Boy Blue
Featuring Chauncey Sherod; Produced by 88-Keys & Party Supplies
Okay. We were doing so well at the beginning ,we really were. In case the very simple lyrics and bad singing weren’t enough the first time, here’s more. This song has an inconsistent theme. I’m sure it about being addicted to drugs but it’s weirdly sung like it’s about an actual woman. The instrumental here is blended in with the singing; I hope they did it to cover up the bad harmonizing.

8. Light In The Addict
Featuring Black Atlass; Produced by Party Supplies
Nothing really here besides Bronson rapping about being addicted to drugs and overcoming his addiction. It’s not bad track but it’s very forgettable and there isn’t much to really say about it. This acts a closer to the loosely connection drug struggle started back on ” Thug Love Story 2017.” I’m glad this saga is over.

9. Baby Blue
Featuring Chance The Rapper; Produced by Mark Ronson
This is a great song and the third single for the album; It’s my favorite following “Actin Crazy”. I love the hilariously bitter verse from Chance The Rapper as he just bashes and wishes the very worst for a past lover. The chorus is hilarious as Bronson expresses anger towards a woman he tried to love but her jealousy ruined it. The funky soulful beat is produced by “Uptown Funk” himself, Mark Ronson.

10. Only In America
Featuring Party Supplies; Produced by Oh No
More terrible singing. The chorus is also terrible. The verses aren’t anything to save the track either. The only thing worth mentioning is Bronson expressing anger that New York doesn’t play his music. With the repeated use of the bad chorus, you’ll be lucky to remember anything after this track.

11. Galactic Love
Produced by The Alchemist
Interesting bass guitar use on this beat. This sounds like another filler track. The lyrics are about Bronson’s life before rap days are the highlights but the song still doesn’t offer much though.

12. The Passage (Live from Prague)
Produced by Party Supplies
Again, more filler. Live instrumental is used but that doesn’t really do anything besides lead us into the main section. We can hear Bronson singing in the background but I honestly wish I couldn’t hear it. This sounds like ending music for an episode of Walker Texas Ranger. It’s skippable, boring, and just a waste of time.

13. Easy Rider
Produced by Party Supplies
Well folksm we’ve reached the end of the album. What better way to close out then to use the first single of Mr. Wonderful, “Easy Rider.” In this song Bronson paints a picture of being a bike rider traveling the world. The theme is brought to life with lyrics such as “Praise the Lord I was born to drive a boat” or the hook “Ride The Harley into the sunset”. This concept goes over greatly and has a wonderful guitar solo the close out after two clever solid verses. This a great closer but honestly I wish there were more moments like this on the album.

Bottom Line:
Mr. Wonderful could have been “wonderful” but was stopped due to not having any standout tracks out than the singles it spawned. Some of the non single moments were too short to make a difference. The bad singing and filler tracks helped the album meet its demise. There was also a theme that was thrown in halfway through the album that didn’t pay off. I really enjoyed “Actin’ Crazy”, “Easy Rider”, “Terry”, and “Baby Blue”; I really did. However, I wanted more than four moments of a thirteen track album. I like Bronson but there’s not enough meat here for a truly wonderful journey.