Release Date: Oct 14, 2014
Record label: Vanguard
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Indie Pop
The eponymous debut album from the Jack’s Mannequin and Something Corporate mastermind under the Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness moniker, McMahon taps into his more commercial sensibilities and pulls out a ten-track set of Fun. -, Killers-, and Passion Pit-inspired pop confections that are as effortlessly breezy and melodic as they are steeped in carefully constructed melodrama. Opener "Canyon Moon" sets the tone with a punchy, Twin Peaks-ian tale of a lost girl that sounds like Coldplay distilled through the fat, foamy, factory-provided headphones that used to accompany the yellow Sony Sports Walkman -- there is a distinct, overly-serious, yet oddly comforting retro mid--80s vibe at work here that more or less permeates the entire album -- but McMahon saves the real earworm for the second course; "Cecilia and the Satellite," with its tried and true romantic grandstanding and big, Bastille-inspired group vocals, seems destined for a run of similarly themed movie trailers, and it helps to propel the listener through lesser, though by no means dreadful, cuts like "High Dive" and the sad-sack "See Her on the Weekend.
Review Summary: A tale of two halves.When I read the title “Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness”, I picture McMahon sitting by a piano and laughing to himself. Worse puns have been made, but it just seems that the former Jack’s Mannequin frontman who was the former Something Corporate frontman could have finally settled for just using his actual name. It would have been fitting too, considering that Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness is the probably the most “Andrew McMahon” album that Andrew McMahon has ever made.