‘Neon Future III’ makes for fun listen

Neon Future III makes for fun listen

By Peter Zemeske

In the world of EDM, or electronic dance music, it can be hard for an artist to distinguish oneself from the horde of helmet-brandishing DJs. Steve Aoki has separated himself from the rest with his enthusiastic personality, energetic live shows and boundary-pushing genre of music. Aoki continues to break into new territory on the latest installment of his “Neon Future” series with “Neon Future III.”

The cake-slinging DJ has been renowned for his remixes as well as original songs. Aoki thrives on collaboration; he has worked with rock bands such as Fall Out Boy and Walk Off The Earth, rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Machine Gun Kelly and even director J.J. Abrams. “Neon Future III” features artists like Louis Tomlinson, Mike Posner, Blink-182 and Lady Antebellum. This goes to show how open-minded and skilled Aoki is when it comes to collaborating.

Listeners are introduced to a solo composition on “Neon Future III (Intro).” The soft piano and looming reverb builds excitement and tension just before Aoki teases the first bass drop on the album. “Just Hold On” featuring Louis Tomlinson is a pop-dance anthem begging to be performed at festivals for years to come. “Waste It On Me” is another pop and EDM mix featuring South Korean boy band BTS. The clean synth lines and singable vocal hooks make for a radio hit anyone can dance to.

“Our Love Glows” featuring Lady Antebellum starts off as a slow, sensual vocal-driven tune that blooms into a shimmering whirlwind of synth arpeggios. One standout track is “Azukita” featuring “Despacito”collaborator Daddy Yankee, Play-N-Skillz and Elvis Crespo. The verses have a latin-sounding beat that morph into Aoki’s strong suit: a fist-pumping drop worthy of any club setlist. Another song with an unusual feature is “Noble Gas” featuring the science guy himself, Bill Nye. Bill Nye’s contribution comes in the form of an explanation of life on Mars, atoms and noble gases.

“Neon Future III” may not have the most rave-ready EDM tracks out there; the songs lean more towards radio pop than bass-heavy club music. However, the songs on the album feature artists loved by many and are extremely catchy. “Neon Future III” sees Aoki at his most creative and is plain pure fun.