Guns n Roses reforming (kinda), Black Sabbath and Motley Crue retiring, Trump becoming president, Brexit, David Cameron resigning and Theresa May taking his place, and Leicester winning the premiership (no that was not a dream). A lot has happened in the nine years since Andrew WK’s last album 55 Cadillac, a Boston and AC/DC worthy length between records that has been quelled with his new offering You’re Not Alone. About as subtle as a tonne of bricks Andrew WK’s fifth album continues his party centric sound of yore with 52 minutes of fist pumping bombast.
Whilst it will not win over the naysayers, You’re Not Alone happily sweeps up everyone else in its path with layer upon layer of frantic piano, pounding drums, giant riffs and even bigger choruses. ‘Music is Worth Living For’ and ‘Ever Again’ are the perfect tasters of what is to come, larger than life rockers with slick production and a Meatloaf-esque levels of emotional intensity. Like a comforting arm around your shoulder in times of need, ‘Give Up On You’ is a grand, multi-layered track of undying support which swells to an almighty finish. Those of you who do not mind a bit of cheese are in for a treat, as the powerful earworm ‘The Devil’s On Your Side’ demonstrates Andrew WK does not do things by halves.
Interposed amongst these grand scale rockers are instrumentals and motivational speeches, akin to his old weekly advice column for The Village Voice. The main instrumental ‘Beyond Oblivion’ is exactly how the name suggests; a huge, atmospheric piece with gigantic drums, crashing guitars and swelling strings. This leads into ‘Confusion and Clarity’ the last of the three speeches, with ‘The Feeling of Being Alive’ and In Your Darkest Moments’ the other two. Whilst these may sound corny and a touch unnecessary, within the confines of the album they work surprisingly well. These mini therapy sessions last no longer than a minute and then you are back to business; from the reflective – ‘The Feeling of Being Alive’ – to the party – ‘Party Mindset’.
7.5/10 – As bombastic, party loving and silly as you come to expect, You’re Not Alone is a joyous collection of uplifting rock.
Highlights: Music Is Worth Living For, Ever Again, The Devil’s On Your Side.