“They say that nobody changes,” Andrew W.K. bellows on “Ever Again,” one of the early singles from his new album You’re Not Alone. “But I’m living proof that they do.” That’s an admirable sentiment. It’s also pretty funny, coming from a guy who sounds exactly the way he did 17 years ago. Indeed, the Andrew W.K. of 2018 also looks, dresses, extols positive living, yells about partying, and headbangs exactly like the one that we first met in 2001. And in this particular case, that’s a great thing.
It’s been 12 years since A.W.K. released Close Calls With Brick Walls, his last proper rock studio album. In the time since that LP, he’s never really gone away. He’s released experimental albums, helped run an iconic New York venue, and brought his tireless and fun-as-hell live show to a whole ton of venues. But it’s still pretty amazing to hear him come roaring back with all the full-hearts energy of his classic debut I Get Wet.
You’re Not Alone has wall-of-stomp stadium-metal production, grand and sweeping hooks, and lyrics about learning to love yourself. It has two consecutive songs with the word “party” in the title. It has spoken-word self-help interludes. It is, in other words, a piece of pure and undiluted Andrew W.K., and it kicks a whole lot of ass. We’ve posted the early single “Music Is Worth Living For,” as well as the aforementioned “Ever Again,” and now you can stream the whole album at NPR.