Hidden Gem: Andrew W.K. – You’re Not Alone


I don’t blame you if you haven’t heard about Andrew W.K. before. Prior to You’re Not Alone, it had been nine years since his last release. He’s a Rockstar who has his own philosophy of partying, in the sense that you should celebrate not being dead in whatever enjoyable way you can. Andrew has also successfully made a career of being a motivational speaker, and he gives you some friendly reminders and discussions of motivation in You’re Not Alone, seamlessly giving context to the tracks that follow. Besides being a Rockstar, he is still human like the rest of us, detailing his struggles through this entire album, epitomizing his own ode to why life is worth the struggle it presents.

You’re Not Alone was released on March 2nd 2018 to a positive reception, although I found very little discussion about the album. This album brought me heaps of motivation last year, so I’m going to elaborate on why I think it’s worth a listen.

The main gimmick of the album is that it’s all about having a positive attitude, enduring the ups and downs and partying on through life. This was a welcomed punch in the face when it came out. It makes you bleed motivation from the nose and cough up confidence. Andrew W.K.’s return to music is a triumphant one, filled with powerful sing-a-long anthems and a truly positive attitude that we need to be reminded of in today’s culture.

The second track, ‘Music Is Worth Living For’, bombs your ears with a grand ballad praising music itself. It is what it says on the tin, it’s cheesy and it’s absolutely relatable – music is a solace to most. In Andrew’s own words, “the song is about how good music makes it feel to not be dead”. The lyrics also feel like a direct conversation with negativity, and a reminder that Andrew is still kicking and alive, living for music. He perfectly gives it a catchy, arm-raising, hard-rock treatment which sets the tone for what’s to come. And this type of positive cheesiness is perfect for Andrew’s style, he’s created his own niche here by combining self-help with arena rock.

Emotional vulnerability in this album is celebrated proudly and unashamedly in ‘I Don’t Know Anything’, which asserts that despite uncertainty, it’s okay. To accompany the defiant shouts of “I don’t know anything”, there’s a playful gleam of positivity with an upbeat piano and synth melody accompaniment. The album shifts pace towards the end, with Andrew experimenting more with pace and vocals, and this experimentation is surprisingly satisfying, with ‘Total Freedom’ containing a longer, satisfying build-up and ‘Beyond Oblivion’ demonstrating some wonderous instrumentation.

I admit, not everyone is in the mood for positive, motivational messages to be shouted and rocked out at them. Yet, I found this album was exactly what I needed last year to power through the days and have some more self-acceptance. Andrew tapped into the most appropriate subject matter for his musical style, which resulted in an overwhelmingly excellent concoction. Take a break from seeking self-help books or motivational videos as an answer to your lack of determination and give this album a go.

You’re Not Alone by Andrew W.K. is available to stream now, released by Bee & El/Sony Music. 


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Final year film student writing often about music.

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