Andrew W.K. has done a lot of unusual things in his career -- not everyone can have a Cartoon Network show and be a member of Current 93 (not to mention run a club, release an album of J-pop covers, and publish a book of advice) at the same time. Still, 55 Cadillac may be one of the most unique additions to his body of work: it's a collection of "spontaneous solo piano improvisations" -- or "SSPIs" as W.K.
For those who know Andrew WK purely as the party-rock good time boy of 2001 debut album I Get Wet - as succinctly embodied in UK top 20 single 'Party Hard' - 55 Cadillac will come as something of a shock. An album of 'spontaneous solo piano improvisations', it was composed and recorded in just two hours. For those who have kept tabs on Andrew WK throughout his career, however, perhaps the shock is only minor, this being a man whose disparate activities include two cover albums of Japanese pop songs, touring America as a motivational speaker, producing a Grammy nominated album for Lee 'Scratch' Perry and even hosting his own TV show, Destroy Build Destroy, on Cartoon Network.
There’s this little lingering strand of incredulity that happens the first time you hear that Andrew W.K. was, as it’s put in so many of the articles about him, “classically trained”. He looks like the frat-guy musclehead who went to college for the babes and who’s majoring in kegstands 101, and the music he released way back in ‘02 did nothing to dispel that notion.