Earlier this year, the American Association of Suicidology named Andrew W.K. as their person of the year, hailing his “life-affirming music and work, which promotes celebrating all life has to offer”. On ‘You’re Not Alone’, it’s a claim that he wholeheartedly fulfils, with the self-styled party king crafting a relentlessly positive record that acts as an inclusive antidote for our increasingly divisive times. Bombastic opener ‘The Power Of Partying’ wastes no time in establishing the overblown production that slices through the entire album, with the 96-second instrumental sounding like the national anthem of a land where W.K. is king.
It’s immediately followed by ‘Music Is Worth Living For’, the most impressive song from the entire record, and arguably W.K’s strongest since ‘Party Hard’. The track sees W.K wrapping huge hooks around frenzied keyboards, before a jubilant chorus – one already destined to be screamed back at him during his notoriously energetic live shows. But while the majority of the album leans heavily on stadium-ready guitar lines and WK’s operatic vocals, there’s the curious presence of three separate spoken sections that prove to be an unexpectedly effective diversion.
After a side venture as a motivational speaker, ‘In Your Darkest Moments’ sees W.K addressing the listener directly to promote positivity in the unlikeliest of situations. “Never forget that you can and will make it through. Never forget the hard times that you have made it through”, he affirms on the 65 second address.
It’s a similar story for Keep On Going, which opens with a piano that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Meat Loaf record, before the song weaves a message of maintaining strength and resilience through times of strife and adversity. After almost 17 years since the release of 2001 debut I Get Wet, it would be all too easy to dismiss the very notion of Andrew WK as a spent and tired joke.
In reality, he might just be the all essential boost of positivity and endurance that we didn’t know we needed. The lure of the party, it seems, is stronger than ever.