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Album Review: Andrew W.K – You’re Not Alone

Andrew W.K. rose to the status of somewhat of a cult icon over the past few years, with a devoted following of fans who have been waiting patiently for the artist to break the silence with new music.
“You’re Not Alone” is the first album from Andrew W.K. featuring rock-oriented material through the span of 12 years. Th album feels like a return to form for Andrew, whose work actually echoes the unmistakable twist of his acclaimed 2002 debut, “I Get Wet.”

On that landmark record, Andrew W.K. became one of the first artists to break the apparently unbreakable divide between metal and pop truly. These two musical worlds collided spectacularly on his music, making for something truly unique. On “You’re Not Alone,” the artist set out to revisit his signature blend of extreme music, alternative rock, and pop, relying on pleasant orchestral arrangements and gigantic production aesthetics with a pristine, modern feel.

The album opens up with a nice prelude track, “The Power Of Partying.” It begins with Andrew repeating the word “party” with that familiar vocal distortion from the opening to his breakout hit, “Party Hard.” The song then rolls into a bit of a military drum cadence, followed by the other arrangements that you’ll find in a typical Andrew WK song, and of course, it sounds absolutely epic.

The second track is the first single that was released from “You”re not Alone,” which is one of my favorite songs on the album “Music is Worth Living For. “ It’s a great track and I think it really speaks to a lot of us music lovers. It’s very melodic, upbeat and showcases some of Andrew’s impressively high vocal range.

Ever Again is the second single off the record, in which Andrew described the song as:

A fantasy in which I imagine what it would be like to actually know the meaning of life — an ecstatic nightmare in which I’ve returned from the brink of annihilation, having clawed the Ultimate Insight from out of its hiding spot, and am finally able to solve the riddle of existence while I cry out in triumphant elation.

The desire to possess this total internalized clarity — not only knowing what life really means, but actually feeling the Truth from the inside out — is a mirage for the mind, but a reality for the heart. But coming from a place of confusion and despair, perhaps simply having faith in the possibility of ‘the answer to everything’ is enough to see us through those frequent moments of painful disorientation.

I’m not singing from the perspective of someone who has found this ultimate answer to everything, but as someone who’s dreaming about how incredible it would feel if I had.

“I don’t Know Anything” is without a doubt my favorite song not only on the album, perhaps my favorite Andrew W.K. song period. It’s just a great little reminder that it’s perfectly fine to not have all the answers, or any answers at all for that matter. Lyrically it’s so simple, and yet so powerful you can basically apply those words of encouragement to anything. From trying to answer the question of where do you see yourself in five years, or not even knowing what to write when you’re doing a review because you have a terrible case of writer’s block.

“The feeling of Being Alive,” is a spoken word track. In which there are several on the record. Andrew is so much more than just a musician, he’s an incredible motivational speaker and the idea to include some of these little inspirational minute long words of encouragement is brilliant.

I find that they also flow with the rest of the tracks on the album very nicely. For example, while listening to this in the gym, you’re pumped up, listening to some awesome partying music while you play out your own Rocky training montage scenario in your head , and then after a few tracks, you get your very own Mickey Goldmill right there in your ear.


Ever Again

If you are a fan of Andrew W.K. and his work, you already know what to expect from this release: unapologetic party songs with the heart of rock and with mainstream ambitions. “You’re Not Alone” represents a return to form for the artist. This release is a reaffirmation of what made his music special for a generation of fans – those guys who grew up on American Pie movies, the wild, care-free antics of Blink-182, as well as the golden age of post-90s pop songwriting. In some ways, Andrew W.K. is one of the few artists who were able to successfully blend all of the aforementioned influences into one unique formula, highly personable package, standing out as something really unique.

The music is very melodic, some high vocals (which Andrew still sounds fantastic) and very easy to sing along with. In some ways I think you could say this is almost a power metal album. Just replace dragons with partying and there you go. Now that I think about it, the cover art which Andrew commissioned fantasy artist Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell, does feature a party Wyrm on the cover.

Release Date: March 2, 2018
Run Time: 52:26
Label:Sony Music Entertainment

Track Listing:
1 The Power of Partying
2 Music Is Worth Living For
3 Ever Again
4 I Don’t Know Anything
5 The Feeling of Being Alive
6 Party Mindset
7 The Party Never Dies
8 Give Up On You
9 Keep On Going
10 In Your Darkest Moments
11 The Devil’s On Your Side
12 Break The Curse
13 Total Freedom
14 Beyond Oblivion
15 Confusion and Clarity
16 You’re Not Alone

Folk N’ Rocks recommended albums are for releases in the Folk, Rock, Punk, and various fusion styles subgenres, that we feel are essential. Albums awarded this badge are also top contenders for our “best of” end of the year list. To see all genres, check out our Recommended Albums

Final Score

Vocals
Content
Sound

Essential

For some listeners, Andrew W.K. will forever be associated to a moment in time in the history of music, but on this album, the artist proved that he is well-aware of his legacy and is willing to rekindle the flame!

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User Rating: 4.75 ( 2 votes)
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