A darker shade of Neon
Neon Future II is Steve Aoki’s third studio album and it sort of picks up where the first Neon Future album left off. However, this release has less pop elements and is edgier and darker. As mxdwn’s review of the first part of Aoki’s creation revealed, it was extremely fun dance music. This part differs due to its experimentation with a variety of sounds and the way it includes more vocals. In general, it’s a more emotionally driven album than its preceding companion.
“Time Capsule,” which is the first track on Neon Future II, is incredibly unique as it introduces the concept of what “Neon Future” means and represents in the scheme of the following tracks. It sounds reminiscent of a science fiction movie as a robotic voice speaks over a dance beat. The second track is “I Love It When You Cry (Moxoki),” which features some fun vocals from singer Moxie Raia. The song has a general vibe of pop and dance, making it a sure fan-favorite. It’s simple but also has lovely lyrics and is altogether a less heavy track compared to some of those that follow.
“Youth Dem (Turn Up)” is an unusual song with leading vocals from Snoop Lion (formerly Snoop Dogg). It’s strange hearing an artist most known for his rap songs take on an EDM style which he also fuses with reggae. One line in particular is very funny and intriguing: “And I feel right at home ‘cause I been smoking my Jamaican.”
Additionally, Neon Future II features a combination of known and unknown artists. One of the best collaborations on this album is with nu metal band Linkin Park. Their presence isn’t exactly surprising considering they’ve previously released the song “A Light That Never Comes” with Aoki. The new track is called “Darker Than Blood,” which is appropriately titled. The vocals on this track are pure emotion, something that Aoki hasn’t previously explored to this degree, but it works for him.
As a whole, Neon Future II digs even deeper by taking these futuristic concepts and fusing them with a combination of genres and feelings. The completed album is a well-assembled group of tracks that Aoki continually makes changes and adjustments to. He also uses more vocal performances than ever, only enhancing the point he is trying to get across. Aoki is an artist who has created a unique follow up album that shouldn’t be missed by both fans and those unfamiliar with his previous work. There is something for everyone here.