SoCal's Long Beach Dub Allstars returned in 2001 with Wonders of the World, another installment of the septet's ska/punk/reggae jams. The band achieved some mainstream notoriety with its breakthrough song, "My Own Life," a bright and sunny anthem in the spirit of Bob Marley and other reggae greats. Wonders of the World continues on the Allstars' uplifting brand of music, and branches further out into the modern rock arena; this is evidenced by the album's increased presence of melodic electric-guitar riffs and speedy drumming. The buoyant "Sunny Hours" reflects the Allstars' journey into modern rock and successfully blends the genre's signature energetic guitar melodies and riffs with turntable stylings and hip-hop flavor, courtesy of flows by Will.I.Am from Black Eyed Peas. Loaded with inspiration, the song easily convinces audiences everything will be all right, just as the song's chorus rallies. Further showcasing the Allstars' penchant for guitar playing is "Luke," a character-driven song that gives Jimi Hendrix a nod with its heady and thick solos and melodies. Reggae-style singing introduces listeners to a man named Luke and his struggling world; lyrically, the song is a good example of fine storytelling. Whether it's the dead of winter, this colorful collection of festive island-centric jams -- with a contemporary edge -- will have audiences busting out the Panama Jack, Coronas and lime, and a belief that all is well in the world. Some artists try to pack several musical styles onto their discs, but fail, because as a collection, the set seems to lack direction. But the Long Beach Dub Allstars pull off multi-genre music-making without a hitch. This is because of the strength in their songs and the band's ability to strategically return to their SoCal musical roots. Whether it's ska, punk, reggae -- indigenous to the SoCal music scene -- or vintage or aggressive rock, the Long Beach Dub Allstars seamlessly tie it all in together and make it work. And that's the wonder of this band's world.
AllMusic Review by Liana Jonas