What if Alice, as a grown up, decided to go back to Wonderland, only to find darker, space-y landscapes and lunar atmospheres, where everything is the contrary of what it seems? What if this Alice is embodied by Italian singer Denise, whose sophomore Universe is out now? This is what happens when pop tunes get a Scandinavian twist, heavily infused with synth and drone, while swinging between light, dreamy atmospheres and dark electro-driven interludes. This second album blends in quite naturally minimal pop hits (Mantra of Universe) and darker pop, which draw from one of the current trends, already explored by artists such as Me and My Drummer. Between raindrops (Rain) and Björk-like ambient electro-experimentations (Lighthouse Keeper) Denise jumps from playful excursions to minimalist ballads (Sailors), especially thanks to the vocal style, which reminds me of a less folk-ish Missincat. Backing vocals, reverbs and electro-vibe bass enhances the lyrics; Halfman is a clear of example of a natural blend of pop and Britpop à la Arcade Fire (is it just me, or is this track’s music remarkably similar to Power Out?). Despite not being keen on the excess of sugar and spice, which ruins the dreamy atmosphere (Piggy Poggy and Superpop sound almost K-pop to me), the rest of the full-length is a journey in a space-y pop dimension, able to balance the two sides. Denise has grown up since Do! Do!, keeping her playful attitude, yet exploring new fields, which are the beginning of a journey through musical maturity, reminding us that we should never take ourselves too seriously.