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Andrew W.K.: I Get Wet

If I Get Wet makes Andrew Wilkes-Krier a star (and it should), it could mark one of the greatest seismic shifts in popular music since Nirvana's Nevermind hosed rivers of hairspray and makeup off the pop-cultural landscape in 1991 and '92. That's not to say that W.K. is making an artistic statement on par with that classic—on the contrary, he sings about little more than partying, killing, and loving, addressing each subject with equally ham-fisted fervor—but I Get Wet sounds so fresh that it's bound to change the way listeners hear the sorry, moaning likes of Puddle Of Mudd. Balls-out heavy metal with an emphasis on speed and keyboard-driven hooks, the album rocks almost recklessly, but without the trappings that burden its peers: There's no camp, no irony, and, most notably, no angst. W.K. just wants to party (as evidenced by "It's Time To Party," "Party 'Til You Puke," and the comically awesome "Party Hard"), and he bothers with little else. On "Ready To Die," he seethes through the hilarious couplet, "When your time is at an end / then it's time to kill again," but power trumps wit here, like rock demolishing scissors. For all its lyrical aggression and bloody artwork, W.K.'s act has an impish sweetness about it: On his endearing ode to his one-time home of New York City ("I Love NYC"), W.K.'s chorus sums up its charms in 10 words: "I love New York City / Oh, yeah! / New York City!" Aside from the glaring omission of what's arguably his best song (he reworks "Girls Own Juice" from his 2000 EP of the same name, but leaves off the near-perfect "We Want Fun"), I Get Wet careens by without a wrong note. More fabulously entertaining the louder it's played, the disc deserves to make W.K. the superstar he clearly intends to be. If it wipes out a generation of hard-rock crybabies along the way, fans will owe him a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.


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