...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

I Get Wet - Andrew WK
Irony saturates our information intake to the point that a little upfront honesty has become very refreshing. Andrew WK's rookie album is about drinking to excess, vomiting, and fighting. In that order. He doesn't try to be profound. He doesn't try to be cute or wink through his audaciousness. He doesn't try to enunciate.

The result is Motley Crue meets Meatloaf, backed by a choral of cavemen, just after everybody's done shots of Red Bull and HGH. The result is a startlingly earnest set of minimalist lyrics. When he says "It's Time to Party", I think he's being genuine.
  • In fact, "It's Time to Party" begins the album and lasts a fuzzy minute-and-a-half. Fascinating to think that this was used in a Budweiser commercial. It seems to fit a beer commercial, with a lyric like "Party, Party, There's gonna be a party Tonight!" This line, with little variation, is repeated for the first 2/3s of the song...

    ...so far so good for Bud's image...

    ...then the third act twist sets in when he starts to say "Pounding on one, touchin' yourself", then ends with a succinct description of bukkake. If you don't know what that means, well, let's just say it involves 6-12 men and one woman, and wikipedia can tell you the rest. Maybe Bud was hoping she'll want a beer afterwards.

  • "Party Hard" (notice a trend?) is a wall of sound. Layers of guitars and keyboards. Two hundred fifty words in the song and 45 of them are "party". Really. That's what the song is about. He just does what he likes and he likes what he does.

  • "Girls Own Love" is a wall of sound. Layers of guitars and keyboards. A full na-na-na-na-na bridge. He changes his pronouns from "she" to "you" and then back again, addressing the same person.

    Or maybe not.

    Maybe he's addressing you. Maybe he's in love with you. To wit, "She gets off without you / And when you get it up / She's a puttin' you down". Apparently he's addressing you, male listener. But then at the end he says "I need your love". Um.

  • Perhaps he addresses his potential homosexual feelings with the next song, "Ready to Die". He tenders, "Cause here we come, You better get ready to die!"

  • Next follows the touching "Take it Off!" Here Andrew finds time to rhyme rack, back, and sack. Did I mention the wall of sound and the layers...?

  • "I Love NYC" seems to mean well, but his lyrics go full-on Dada: "Ride on nothin', ride your head / Got no fear, sayin' not said /We are a population / We are a factory / We don't do, but we never did anyway". I don't know what he's saying but I admire the passion.

  • He may also be the only performer who could turn a song called "She is Beautiful" (complete with a full na-na-na-na-na bridge) into a face-in-toilet-bowl-in-between-beer-bong-vomit shout. I do believe that he thinks she's beautiful, but "The girl's too young, she don't know any better." His intentions are dubious, but he admits such.

  • "Party 'till You Puke" goes no further than just that. But I'm afraid this is the one place that he's being dishonest. He expects you to party after you're done puking. Because it's a...

  • "Fun Night". The lyrics consist of the following:
    'Cos we're gonna have aFUN NIGHT!Gonna get off!(and have a) FUN NIGHT!Gonna get off!He repeats this for 3 and a half minutes, drops one F-bomb, and seems to have had a fun night.

  • "Got to Do It". Yes you do. Hauling cheesy keyboards and an inspirational message, it's the perfect song for lifting weights that are much too heavy for you. Suddenly you're in the middle of a Rocky movie (one of the first four), and you're training, "You gotta keep up / you gotta keep going", and you do, you keep up, you keep going, you grab the bar tight, you flex, you breathe deep, and you lift the bar, and you hurt your back.

  • Then you're on the floor of the weight room, pretending you're just chillin'. Chillin' to the loudest, biggest, Neanderthal stomp on the album, "I Get Wet". Don't know what the song's really about, but he's really angry, and he gets really wet a lot.

  • The album finishes with "Don't Stop Living in the Red". Sounds like it should be the new American anthem, right? Musically, it's really tight. Only a minute and a half of the same lyric over and over. Simplicity. And it's the one song that won't leave your head.
Nor will the buzzing sound that follows when the music stops. Check to make sure your ears and eyes have stopped bleeding. To say that this music is stupid is insulting. And true. And completely missing the point.