Andrew W.K.’s decision to dive head-first into the waters of party philosophy, is the most rewarding decision he’s ever made
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Andrew W.K. has never been subtle, if somebody has trouble remembering who he is or what songs he’s written, just repeat the word “party” over and over again, and their reaction will be “oh yeah, that guy”. On ‘You’re Not Alone’, the master of good times is using his powers of unsubtlety to lift spirits, to merge the ups and downs of life, in order to create his very own bible of celebration, a self-help guide for those who have difficulty confronting the intensities that come with being human.
It’s easy to shrug off Lana Del Rey and whomever else’s idea that partying is a deep, abstract, soul-searching experience, but Andrew’s level of humility when lecturing the idea of partying being a device, not to destroy your demons, but to live with them, comes across as both intellectual and heartfelt. Three spoken word pieces appear sporadically during ‘You’re Not Alone’, in which Andrew labels life’s hardships as necessities, and the song ‘The Devil’s On Your Side’ illustrates the observation quite well, preaching the belief that any trouble or worry that is thrown your way is there for you to embrace.
Even the songs that are simply party tunes, still contain such a huge, momentous vibe, it’s obvious the intention is still to have them serve as celebrations of victory, and not just the kind of “let’s get drunk and dance, or whatever it is that people do at parties” attitude that was constantly given off on ‘I Get Wet’. ‘Keep On Going’, has a grand, inspirational, almost gospel-like quality that runs on the same level of optimism as ‘Music Is Worth Living For’, a tune that celebrates survival, and the album-closing title track, that sees W.K. pull no punches, yelling in your face, “if you’re frightened, if you’re worried, you’re not alone”.
The tracklist is filled with pumping synths, energetic key stabs, and in the case of the left field instrumental track ‘Beyond Oblivion’, dramatic, film score-esque orchestra pieces. It’s nothing you haven’t heard on previous Andrew W.K. releases, but every instrument feels tighter, chunkier, and fittingly so, after all, ‘You’re Not Alone’ is a celebration, and needs to feel as majestic as possible.
Get out your ‘Andrew W.K. Cliché Checklist’ when listening to ‘You’re Not Alone’ and you’ll be ticking most of the boxes, but if you’ve never been a fan of his music, you’ll at least be able to understand that for the most part, he hasn’t just made a career out of writing forcefully-fun party songs, he’s made a career out of being totally truthful and natural. Trying to squeeze any kind of spirituality out of getting wasted is a burdensome challenge, and is bound to get a few eyes rolling, but on ‘You’re Not Alone’, Andrew W.K.’s decision to dive head-first into the waters of party philosophy, is the most rewarding decision he’s ever made.
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‘You’re Not Alone’ is out now via Bee & El/Sony Music Entertainment. The albums full track listing is…
01. The Power of Partying 02. Music Is Worth Living For 03. Ever Again 04. I Don’t Know Anything 05. The Feeling of Being Alive 06. Party Mindset 07. The Party Never Dies 08. Give Up On You 09. 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