By Eric Perzanowski, Staff Writer
Key Tracks: “I Don’t Know Anything”, “Music Is Worth Living For”, “The Devil’s On Your Side”
It seems as if in the nine years since his last studio album, Andrew W.K. has built a career that exists beyond his musical endeavors. His growth as a motivational speaker and self-help coach has lead to national tours, and advice columns with publications like Village Voice and Vice. His enthusiasm for partying and positivity has created a cult persona and viral web presence. He even hosted three seasons of Destroy Build Destroy, a live-action game show on Cartoon Network. You’re Not Alone is a return to music that embodies all of the qualities that make W.K. the encouraging and ubiquitous figure that he is.
You’re Not Alone’s first half offers up the party anthems and upbeat bangers like “Music Is Worth Living For” and “I Don’t Know Anything” that make Andrew W.K. a party icon. The synth-heavy “The Party Never Dies” and the aforementioned “I Don’t Know Anything” are examples of songs that capture the nostalgic turn-of-the-millennium energy and sound that immediately distinguishes W.K..
The latter half of You’re Not Alone is an array of tracks that showcases W.K.’s soaring vocal ability. The power ballad-like approach style to songs like “Total Freedom” and “Break The Curse” follow a familiar musical path, but at the same time, provide a noticeable contrast to the party image that is generally associated with W.K.. “Keep on Going”, and “The Devil’s On Your Side” make for uplifting anthems with W.K.’s frenzied piano playing and bold, head-first energy. Most of these tunes reach a cathartic climax, in which feelings of unity and glee shine through the impassioned choruses.
There are several minute-long spoken interludes where W.K. brings his motivational wisdom to the music. W.K.’s enthusiastic and energetic tone encourages listeners to do things such as embrace life’s challenges because those are what makes life exciting. They are few and far enough in between that it breaks up the music, transitions between sections of the album, but doesn’t push it to where it would become part-album, part-motivational lecture.
You’re Not Alone is a needed musical pick-me-up, and provides listeners with a fun 53-minute companion in the exorbitant and infectious positivity of Andrew W.K.. It is a soundtrack for taking on life’s challenges, embracing the power of positivity, and of course, partying.