Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin fame has released his debut album with his new side project titled Andrew McMahon in The Wilderness. The disc takes us deeper into the psyche of the piano rock pioneer who has continued to diversify his portfolio with vivid, sonic snapshots of a man transitioning into fatherhood and coming to terms with his role in life and knowing where music fits into the portrait.
We start things out with "Canyon Moon" a deeply layered track with electro aided keyboard rhythms conjoined together with Andrew's familiar vocal refrain exploding with cooing melodies that explode right on contact and leave plenty of residue to pick up on. "Cecelia and The Satellite" is my favorite track off the album and is one of the more intriguing tracks on the effort that exemplifies Andrew's creative output that never ceases to amaze me, featuring some slight electro influences that were prominently featuring on his solo EP "The Pop Undeground", but here it's implemented in a more refined fashion that gives the listener the ability to grasp onto the emotional context of the song that anyone can relate to. "All Our Lives" is a more reflective number featuring a more pure based piano output that gives off a certain simplified beauty that is something to behold and is one of the many reasons why Andrew is the voice of our generation. "See Her On The Weekend" tones it down a few notches with some relfective lyrical imagery that coincides well with Andrew's well written lyrics that give way to the second portion of the record.
"Driving Through A Dream" moves along at a pretty steady pace featuring some well constructed piano melodies and Andrew's voice once again telling the story as the collection pieces together like a jogsaw puzzle. "Rainy Girl" gets us ready for the the conclusion of the effort with some simply constructed piano pieces that start to wrap up th story sccinctly and on point. "Maps For The Getaway" ends it all here with a capsulated track that takes in elements from various portions of the record, and splices it hereabout to create a musical scrapbook of sorts to summarize what we've encountered on our journey here. Andrew McMahon has been a huge influence on my life thus far, and one thing that I immensely enjoy about him is his ability to speak in detail when conducting interviews and it immediately feels like something new and fresh every time. You think that you would know everything about Andrew, but when you hear him speak you're always in tune with what he's saying and you almost never get bored because Andy keeps things so refeshing and is one of the strengths that makes him such an incredible musician.
All in all, a solid effort from Andrew McMahon and The Wilderness, an effort that puts Andy sqaurely back in his comfort zone behind the piano and into the hearts and minds of all his adoring fans around him who have followed him endlessly through the years.
Album Score: 3.5/5
Cecilia and The Satellite
All Our Lives
See Her On The Weekend
Black and White Movies
Driving Through A Dream
Maps For The Getaway