Be positive…the mantra of Andrew W.K, a motivational speaker & classically trained pianist. The all white-wearing, rock-loving 24-hour party person is back with his first album in nine years. If that doesn’t make you feel old, how about this: His breakout release ‘I Get Wet’ is 17 years old. That album is almost old enough to legally drink (in the UK).
Seen as a bit of a clown, a one-hit wonder and not worthy of the column inches he fills. The vitriol sent his way is often based around confusion. Is Andrew W.K. serious? Does he really believe what he says or is he just poking fun?
Ultimately it doesn’t matter because he is all about the power of positivity, after all he is motivational speaker. Which is exactly what his new album, You’re Not Alone is when you strip back the layers. A motivational speech in rock form, simple and catchy. Designed to stick in the mind long afterwards. Just to hammer that point home the album includes a smattering of short speeches that all revolve around not feeling alone.
If that doesn’t do it for you then the ‘party hard’ theme might although that feels a little more tongue in cheek here. You’re not Alone is a muted album that doesn’t quite have the energy you might have hoped for.
That being said there is no disputing just how catchy & feel good the likes of Music is Worth Living For, (We Won’t) Give Up On You, Keep on Going and Beyond Oblivion are. These are tracks that embody positivity to such an extent that it can almost be too much. If you didn’t know about the man himself you’d start to think he was taking the piss.
…but he’s not. He believes & the more you listen, so will you. Sure, he’s not saying anything new but the passion & delivery is infectious. The synth style rock melodies, catchy piano segments and up-tempo vibe fits the message perfectly.
Being 16 tracks long, You’re Not Alone is too long and it does start become a bit tiresome near the end. Break the Curse is forgettable with its darker tone and Total Freedom passes by uneventfully. Happily the title track sees things off with one last super up-beat tune, the piano really taking off and driving things.
Love him or hate him, Andrew W.K. and his message can be admired. He doesn’t care if you want to hear him or not. He seems happy just as long as he’s making a difference to some. The positivity of You’re Not Alone might be too much for many but let’s be honest here, a little bit of positivity not just in rock music but the world in general might not be such a bad thing.
Andrew W.K. – You’re Not Alone Full 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. (We Won’t) 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
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You’re Not Alone is out now and can be bought via Amazon above and streamed via all major services including Apple Music below.
Andrew W.K. - You're Not Alone (Bee & EL/Sony Music)
The Final Score - 6/10