"There's no hit records on the demo..."
The thing is, this only applies to when he is rapping. Throughout Mr. Wonderful, Bronson catches the Billy Joel bug and attempts to flex his vocals with mixed results. Being that this is his first major label release, it's evident more time was taken in the production department and in the variety of the overall sound. He takes a few risks in an attempt to hone in on who he is as an artist. Songs like the heavy drug-induced "City Boy Blues," which follows a truly horrible acapella skit beforehand, don't quite hit the mark at all, and will most likely get constant skips from long-time Bronson fans. Other songs like "A Light In The Addict" and the intro track "Brand New Car" hit that sweet spot where he just sings the hook and it works well. Luckily the risks are few and far between, with the essence of Bronson still taking center stage.
Standout tracks on the album include the anti-bitch anthem "Baby Blue" with an amazingly witty feature from Chance the Rapper, where he hits a girl with lines like "I hope you never get off Fridays, and you work at a Fridays that's always busy on Friday." The jazzy Alchemist-produced "Terry" is a track I find myself coming back to the most, as it's one of the more accessible tracks found on the album. The same goes for "Easy Rider," which may be the hottest song on the album despite being leaked months ago. Overall it doesn't take much to enjoy an Action Bronson project, and Mr. Wonderful is no exception.
Fans who have been around for awhile should not expect this to sound like another entry in the Blue Chips series, though. He's attempting to spread his wings and establish himself as an artist outside of his mixtapes. He hasn't quite discovered his fearless artistic side yet with this album, but it's nice to see him branching out and trying new things instead of remaining in his comfort zone. The problem is there are so many other great albums that have come out in 2015 that Mr. Wonderful runs the risk of being buried under the heap. They say timing is important in Hip-hop, but who could have predicted so many quality projects dropping only three months into the year? It's rare that those who are introduced to Bronson's music end up not liking him, but he definitely would have benefitted from releasing this album a little later on in the year. There are no over-arching themes or deep messages here, Mr. Wonderful is just easy listening. And for that fact alone, this album has the power to be your daily driver if your brain needs a rest from the likes of Kendrick Lamar's magnum opus or Lupe Fiasco's Tetsuo & Youth. It will be interesting to see the direction Action Bronson's career goes in after this album.