by: RACHEL MEANS/Staff Writer
You may have never heard of Andrew McMahon, but there’s a good chance that you have heard his music.
McMahon has been working as a professional singer, songwriter, and musician for most of his adult life. He got his start in 2000 as the lead singer and writer for the band Something Corporate, with whom he achieved great success on the pop-punk scene that took over at the beginning of the millennium, touring with lots of the big hitters of the time such as Newfound Glory.
Then, in 2005, the band split and McMahon began his solo career. Through the years, he would perform under many different names, including his own name and Jack’s Mannequin, under which he would amass a devoted fan base and more than a few hit songs.
In 2014, he adopted the moniker of Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, and this year he released his first full-length album under that name.
This self-titled debut is a bit of a departure for McMahon. In the past, his work has maintained the pop-punk style he established at the beginning of his career. But now he seems to have shrugged off his old sound in favor of one that is more accessible to the mainstream.
The 10 songs that make up this album strike a softer tone than did any of McMahon’s previous work. Even the more upbeat songs, such as “Black and White Movies” and “Maps for the Getaway,” maintain a very relaxing vibe, relying heavily on melodic piano pieces and poetic lyrics. That being said, the album is actually quite a fun one. Most of the songs keep a steady beat that makes them both easy to dance to and easy to sing along with.
Other tracks include the melancholy ballads “Rainy Girl” and “See Her on the Weekend,” a song about freedom titled “Canyon Moon,” and an upbeat and introspective song titled “All Our Lives.”
However, the standout track on the album is a song titled “Cecelia and the Satellite,” which McMahon wrote as a love song for his newborn daughter. It’s a very emotional song that starts with soft and steady verses that crescendo into a powerful chorus. The track was released as the album’s first single and has been steadily climbing the rock charts ever since.
Overall, I would say Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness’s first album is a huge success. All 10 of the album’s tracks bring different things to the table while remaining lyrically deep and completely enjoyable. The album has already given McMahon one hit song, and I predict it will give him at least a few more before the year is up. As for the listeners, I expect we have plenty to look forward to from this not-so-new face.