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Theres only one proper way to get the full experience of this album, lock yourself in your bedroom and blast it. And dont come out until youve listened to every song all the way through. Bust out the lyrics (Disc 1 & 2) and sing along or just listen and have a great big killer party by yourself; free from any distractions. Until then seeing and hearing the over arching vision of this release will not come into focus. I repeat, a single song here or there cannot capture this operatic 2 disc release.
Close Calls With Brick Walls
Ive had the pleasure to enjoy this first disc for the past 3 1/2 years (see some background info on its release). Although the sound of Close Calls might not be as main-stream as Andrews debut album I Get Wet or his follow up The Wolf, its replay value is comparable. After all these years I still find myself popping the CD in on a regular basis. I dont even know if I can explain why, perhaps its just simply catchy.
The power behind I Get Wet or the motivational lyrics captured in The Wolf can be found here if youre looking for them. They are hidden behind the new direction of sound AWK has chosen to take his music. In previous interviews hes mentioned the goal for the sound he wanted to create on the first two albums. He didnt want to differentiate the sounds of instruments; so a piano sounded like a guitar or synthesizer or bass or vocals and everything sounded like the exact same note being played. In Close Calls this is not the case and it will be the first thing you notice. Youll be able to hear that heavy metal guitar solo shredding away your speakers. His voice cuts through much clearer and a classical piano will sound like a classical piano. The extensive layering has also been minimized which allows for certain things to pop-out at you.
The dynamics of the lyrics seems to have changed as well. One Brother has chosen words that simply sound a certain way rather than focusing on actual meaning. This strategy creates a very confusing song but in turn provides a very catchy one to sing along with, even if you have no idea what your saying! Hence, Andrews common theory on interpreting things however you want, is magnified.
Though it contains some experimental tracks that I often brush past, the album is full of unforgettable ones as well. Youll never take a road trip again without listening to The Moving Room on the way. A song that compares a car to a room and in the middle of it, the inspiring lyrics You know you can if you want to! repeated over will push you over the edge of excitement. Into The Clear sounds like the cliche climbing a mountain helped me overcome my fears track, except the fact that it actual does make you feel like you just overcame something huge.
9/10 In context with all of Andrew W.Ks releases. Leaving room for a little improvement.
Mother of Mankind
Eating a bag of mixed nuts is always fun. An album of scattered songs throughout a career is too! Although many of the songs have already appeared in various places, they belong here. For example, the track Ive Got Know Fear was completely out of context when it appeared on the vinyl version of Close Calls. It is now apparent that this song belonged nowhere near the 2005 recordings of CCWBW. However, it does fit nicely around the 1999-ish AWKGOJ recordings; and who wouldnt want more AWKGOJ songs!!?? A perfect fit for the advertisement 1999-2010 of Rare and Unreleased Songs.
Upon my first listen I started to become a little nervous by the time I hit the 9th track. I had already covered two unheard songs and seven others I had already heard. Some of which were some-what new to me though; Vagabond had a much improved makeover, We Got A Groove came out earlier this month (which I absolutely love), and Who Knows? was just taken from the 2006 DVD. The culmination of which was leaving me unfulfilled. I thought to myself would the first half be similar to the last half?.
And then it happened. The 10th track started, Coming Bad then delivered what most fans could only dream an AWK song could deliver! Especially the 2nd verse. It didnt stop there. The 14th track I will find God had just as inspirational lyrics as The Wolf, and The Party God was one of the most epic songs Ive ever heard. The only words sung in the song reminded me of pieces from Beethovens Ode To Joy, (my favorite classical song) along with the synthesized violins leading up to the crescendo. Which was magnificent way to finish off the album.
I have a feeling that Mother of Mankinds replay value will be no different than its counterpart, Close Calls With Brick Walls. So, expect the next 3 1/2 years to be filled with excitement! These albums will make you want to learn every lyric in order sing your heart out with Andrew this summer at the Vans Warped Tour. Enjoy!
Also a 9/10 In context with all of Andrew W.Ks releases. Leaving room for a little improvement.
Mother of Mankind My Notes
Keep your ear to the ground while listening to the following
- We Party (You Shout) Exact same track that appears on The Premium Collection released in Japan. The name changed though from Party (You Shout). Oh, and there is some weird sound at the very very end of the song. Maybe its just a problem with my copy though?
- High Five Unheard song!
- Lets Go On A Date Exact same as CCWBW Korean
- We Got A Groove Exact same track that was released on the We Got A Groove split. Nice to have it in perfect digital quality though!
- Sarah Notto Unheard song!
- Vagabond A heavily updated version from the track that appeared on a radio show in 2006. Song to new music video!
- Ive Got Know Fear Exact same as CCWBW Vinyl
- Big Party Exact same as CCWBW Vinyl
- Who Knows? This is the title track taken from the Who Knows? DVD of 2006. The voice over has been removed and the piano in the intro seems to be more layered, also has a different out-tro.
- Coming Bad Unheard song!
- Can You Dance With Me? Exact same as CCWBW Korean
- Kicks and Bricks Appeared in 2004 on Andrews website. Either this is simply just the best quality version weve come across or the bass has been improved a little. Perhaps slightly clearer vocals as well? Everything about this track is clearer.
- A.W.K. Originally appeared as the hidden track of AWKGOJ. However, a remix version appeared on Andrews website sometime ago entitled AWK R.C.U. Mix. This is the website version.
- I Will Find God Unheard song!
- This Is My World Exact same as CCWBW Korean
- Young Lord Exact same as version that appeared on Andrews website.
- Were Not Gunna Get Old Exact same as CCWBW Vinyl EXCEPT the very ending, the last few second are chopped off where Andrew sings alone.
- Kill Yourself The second half of this song has more layered vocals than what appeared on the We Want Fun Demo version
- I Want Your Face Exact same as CCWBW Korean
- Jewel Street Man Unheard song!
- The Party God Unheard song!
- Doing Andrew W.K. if you got it from iTunes, youll have this track which is taken from the Vagabond single.
– The track We Will Boogie from CCWBW Vinyl, seems to be missing from the album.
Am I missing anything? Let me know in the comments section of this post!