Andy Grammer’s “Magazines or Novels” — already #1 on iTunes — is more than a summer hit

Andy Grammer’s new album “Magazines or Novels” makes him #1 pop artist on iTunes this week!

This iTunes success delights me enormously — Andy deserves it! However, I do find the iTunes review mildly annoying with its accusation of identity crisis:

“Slick and glossy, the songs on Magazines or Novels are performed and produced with a goal — conscious or not — to match the massive success of the hit “Keep Your Head Up,” from his self-titled debut — not an easy thing to replicate, but this team gives it an honest try. As is often the case when following a successful debut, there is a bit of an identity crisis at work here: Grammer wrote or co-wrote everything here, and he seemingly did so with a careful ear to the radio.”

On the other hand, Huff Post raves that “Magazines or Novels” is a “smashing sophomore album.”

Seeing Andy Grammer and his new album promoted between this summer’s boy band of teen girls’ choice 5 Seconds of Summer and Robert Plant, the ultimate rock singer gone Nashville, is as symbolic as telling. Whether 5SOS will be around any longer than their British counterparts of last summer’s fading fame 1D we don’t know. However,  I am certain that Andy is in this music business for the long haul, and having just taken step two on his professional recording path, he will — not unlike the Led Zeppelin singer — reinvent himself more than once! Reinvention — as part of growth — and identity crises are very different: the former is based on self-reflection from within while the latter on influences from without…

Andy Grammer's "Magazines or Novels" is #1 on iTunes!

Andy Grammer’s “Magazines or Novels” is #1 on iTunes!

 

Andy Grammer’s “Magazines or Novels” — already #1 on iTunes — is more than a summer hit

As witnessed during Andy’s recent concert at The Birchmere, he is indeed reaching out for wider yet discerning audience bridging the musical gap between screaming youth and more reflective and mature listeners. His is pop music indeed with its catchy tunes but what sets him apart from the masses of artists seeking commercial success are the honest, meaningful lyrics.

To illustrate my point just listen to Andy’s response — perhaps coincidental — to 5SOS’s current hit Amnesia. Whereas the Aussie stars mourn a failed relationship in a recycled hit penned by the Madden brothers and 3 more producers, Andy’s song “Remind You” views the relationship with a loved one as an opportunity to help each other grow:

“It doesn’t mean you’re weak
Or that you’ve got low self esteem
We all got hearts that forget why they beat
We are brilliant
We are unique
We forget so, effortlessly
And when your questioning your worth
In the way that we all do
And your version of amnesia
Starts to seep on through
And you know that you are great
But you can’t remember why
I will be there by your side”

Andy’s honest song-writing is so refreshing that raised a few parental brows during the recent concert I attended. His song “Holding Out” not only illustrates the chastity dilemma that Baha’i youth — and anyone of this “generation of the half-light” as Shoghi Effendy so poignantly named us — face today but also has the distinction of managing to put prayer and porn in the same sentence!

I know so well the challenges of solitude and can only marvel what the challenges of fame might bring to any person of faith — all the more reasons to appreciate Andy’s sincerity in “Sinner”:

“And I’ve been on my knees
Praying like
Praying like a sinner

And I heard the walls are paper thin from where you are to where I am
But I don’t feel a thing, if you all keep pulling strings
Send on down a message please
Light a bull behind my dreams
I’d just like to know that you hear me, that you’re close
And I never thought that I’d live this life without your guiding light”

… and tenacity in “Masterpiece”:

“One, you get one heartbeat so, take it seriously
This is your masterpiece, don’t forget to dream
And taste the colors in the air you breathe
It’s your masterpiece, go ahead and feel it all
Don’t stop till it is beautiful”

Andy, don’t stop! It is beautiful!

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