Critics who say pop-metal composer Andrew W.K.'s unfiltered expression marks him an idiot have two letters correct. The stringy-haired, sullied-jeans-wearing performer's best-dumbest songs certainly originate from the id as they rally for chaotic excess: “It's Time to Party,” “Party til You Puke,” “Don't Stop Living in the Red,” “Make Sex,” “You Will Remember Tonight,” et al. But W.K. simultaneously funnels his classical piano training into jubilant baroque “metal,” working in a musical theater vein reminiscent of Meatloaf collaborator Jim Steinman. This elevates hook-laden songs like “Never Let Down,” “Victory Strikes Again,” and “I Love Music” into exclamation-point-studded philosophies that are more aspirational than depraved.
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