Albums Out Today (2/10/17)

albums out today
Happy Friday! New music is upon us and we have some albums you should check out.

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – Zombies On Broadway [iTunes, Amazon]

Crushed Stars – Displaced Sleepers [iTunes, Amazon]

Figure Eight – Forever [Bandcamp]

George Morris – George Morris [iTunes]

Homebound – The Mould You Build Yourself [iTunes, Amazon]

Mo Troper – Gold [iTunes]

Teen Daze – Themes For Dying Earth [iTunes, Amazon]

Thievery Corporation – The Temple of I & I [iTunes, Amazon]

Show Review: Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness at the Electric Factory [11/21]

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness performed Friday, November 21st at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia. It was my first change to see him perform live. I was first introduced to Andrew’s music through Jack’s Mannequin (and most likely thanks to One Tree Hill). I’ve been following him since, and was excited to finally see him live.

Junior Prom and Hunter Hunted opened, however, I didn’t arrive until the tail end of Hunter Hunted’s set. I noticed the crowd seemed to be into it and I’ve added them to my list of artists to check out. After the usual set up time of around 30 minutes, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness took the stage and opened up with “Canyon Moon” – a great choice. The crowd immediately was stoked and got right into dancing and singing along. And with the great pop music Andrew makes, it’s really hard not to get into it. I was in awe right from the start. To follow, they went into “Dark Blue,” which would be the first of several Jack’s Mannequin songs for the night. I was a bit surprised he played this song so soon, but was not surprised he would be playing the song.

Of the 10 songs on Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, all but two made the 20-song setlist, including the 3 encore songs. This gave the concert a fantastic variety of all of Andrew’s projects over the years. Personally, this was great because I had never seen him, but I was still able to hear the songs like “Dark Blue” and “Bruised” that made me fall in love with his music. I’ll admit, I haven’t listened to Something Corporate maybe as much as I should. After hearing songs like “Cavanaugh Park” and “I Woke Up In A Car,” I’ll definitely be listening to that band a whole lot more.

Only one song was performed off of The Pop Underground and that song was “Synesthesia.” This was the final song once they came back for the encore, and I found that to be interesting. I would have rather seen a song from the new album be performed since that was the reason for them being out on tour. I felt that the EP wasn’t received well enough (not that it was bad, I quite enjoyed it) to close with a song off that instead of any other projects. All in all, I’m extremely glad I finally saw Andrew McMahon perform live and had a great time at the show.

Review: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – Self-Titled

Andrew McMahon has taken on a new moniker for his new solo work, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness. This begins a new story from Andrew. The self titled album is family-focused, with songs that are clearly about his wife and daughter among other things. It’s the same classic songwriting displayed with McMahon’s previous projects.

I’ve always thought that he could write songs that’s were great pop songs, but don’t display the over-production we frequently come across in mainstream pop music. This is a great thing. Andrew McMahon is not only good at writing for hooks, but he can also write verses and prechoruses that are just as catchy. While the melodies don’t stray too far from his work as Jack’s Mannequin, they’re still enjoyable.

As a whole, the work McMahon has done appears to be underrated. Personally, I think his piano-pop music is much better than most pop you’d hear on the radio. Yet his work just hasn’t received much mainstream attention. I remember the days when Jack’s Mannequin would be played on One Tree Hill along with the likes of Jimmy Eat World. I can only lyrics hope this album gets the attention it deserves.

The Pop Underground was risky for McMahon because of how he strayed from his previous style and added in ‘80s style synths. I enjoyed the EP, but not as much as his earlier works. Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness is a great follow up to the EP, and marks a return to form. Sure the songwriting and melody tactics are familiar, but they’ve worked for Andrew and he still continues to impress. Some of my favorite songs off the album, aside from the singles, are “Black And White Movies” and “Maps For The Getaway.” these songs really display the great lyricism and musicianship. 

“Maps” is a fantastic ending to the album and wraps things up nicely by letting listeners know just how much Andrew and his wife have been through together. Andrew has battled cancer and never given up. He tells great stories in such a beautiful manner and that’s what really makes this album as great as it is. This will definitely be a contender for my albums of the year list.