Andrew W.K.

Andrew W.K. / Courtesy of the artist

This #NowPlaying discovery comes to us from the New Music Friday episode of All Songs Considered.

Andrew W.K. has always been a balladeer with a Marshall amp-stacked heart, a pit-stained softie who doesn't distinguish between the heavy metal rush of Headbangers Ball and Delilah's night-time dedications. To start, "Stay True to Your Heart" thumps quietly to a beat resembling a Casio keyboard preset, perhaps a nod to his early experiments. But like many before him, the chorus captures the emotional climax built from our balladeer's wandering: Drum fills ricochet from stadium walls, pseudo-strings glide, power chords crunch from overdriven guitars and Andrew W.K. – who, it must be said, has become a helluva singer in the last few years – sweetly sings the song's message in a commanding falsetto. It's easy to take the saccharine sentiment for granted; Andrew W.K. has, after all, moonlit as a motivational speaker for years. But once you fall into its stirring melody, it's not hard to believe in the song's power.

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