“Leaving Wonderland… In a Fit of Rage” began life as the second solo project from Marcy Playground’s talented frontman John Wozniak, but was eventually became Marcy’s fourth studio album.
The album deals with topics that almost everyone can relate to, becoming a fantastic soundtrack for life. The amazingly personal and soulful lyrics are accompanied by fantastically written music that shows just how talented Marcy Playground is.
It’s an excellent album, I’ll say that right now. But was it worth the five year wait?
“Leaving Wonderland” is a true return to form for Marcy Playground. This album is the perfect example of how the band is easily able to experiment with, master, incorporate, and even redefine musical genres without stress or force. It’s something that very few other bands are able to do, and this gift is what sets Marcy Playground apart from any other band.
However, it could be argued that this is also what keeps the band from becoming as commercially successful and widespread as they deserve to be. It is still uncertain as to whether or not “Leaving Wonderland” will be the album that does what “Shapeshifter” and “MP3” were unable to do, but it certainly has potential to. This album truly has something for everyone, no matter their cup of tea.
The disc kicks things off with “Blackbird,” a fantastic song that can that can be described simply as Rock but hits a wide range of unique styles in its few minutes of playtime. Immediately following is “Devil Woman,” a Country song with a great guitar riff that greatly matches the overall mood of the song. It reminds me of Country music back when it was good.
“Star Baby” is easily my favorite track on the album. It is an extremely catchy tune that you just can’t help but smile and bob your head to. It definitely seems very radio friendly, and if marketed properly has potential be very successful. The track is fun, lighthearted and happy, making it the perfect song to listen to on a warm summer day, driving around town with the windows rolled down.
Another of my favorite tracks is “I Must Have Been Dreaming,” which has a happy guitar riff that almost seems inspired by “The Ballad of Azlan” coupled with an ironic topic of lost love. The giddy music coupled with the downbeat subject creates an abstract mood that I absolutely love.
Other notable tracks are psychedelic ballad “Emperor,” the Southern Folk spiritual “Irene,” and the acoustic feel-good tune “Good Times,” which also has strong potential to be a breakout hit with its easy to relate to material and a fantastic overall sound. When it comes right down to it, all of the songs on the album are written in a brilliant and soulful manner, and all tracks are fantastic.
- Blackbird (+)
- Devil Woman
- Gin and Money (+)
- Star Baby (+)
- I Burned the Bed (-)
- Irene (+)
- Emperor (+)
- Good Times (+)
- I Must Have Been Dreaming (+)
- Memphis (+)
- Thank You
- Down the Drain
John Wozniak has called this his most personal project to date, a truth that is apparent throughout the entire album as he explores previously uncharted territories in an attempt to find the perfect way to express his art. The result is an album that almost anyone can directly relate to. It is an extremely diverse album that captures and recreates more than a few genres, and shows us why Marcy Playground has such a dedicated fanbase to begin with.
Score: 9.4/10 (Amazing)
Lyrics: 9.5/10 (It’s obvious that John Wozniak’s lyrics come straight from his heart)
Music: 9.5/10 (The band captures many genres and styles masterfully)
Entertainment Value: 9.25/10 (12 tracks with fantastic variety that keeps things fresh)