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Close Calls With Brick Walls/Mother of Mankind

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Audio CD, March 23, 2010
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Close Calls With Brick Walls/Mother of Mankind + I Get Wet
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: 2010
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Steev Mike
  • ASIN: B0032BCJBM
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,244 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. I Came For You
2. Close Calls With Bal Harbour
3. Not Going To Bed
4. You Will Remember Tonight
5. Pushing Drugs
6. Hand On The Place
7. One Brother
8. Las Vegas, Nevada
9. Dr. Dumont
10. I Want To See You Go Wild
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. We Party (You Shout)
2. High Five
3. Let's Go On A Date
4. We Got A Groove
5. Sarah Notto
6. I'm A Vagabond
7. I've Got Know Fear
8. Big Party
9. Who Knows?
10. Coming Bad
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

After three years of loyal patience, Andrew W.K. fans can finally experience the lost third album from the established party rocker. Previously released in Japan and Korea in 2006, Close Calls With Brick Walls will officially become available on March 23rd, 2010, being released by Steev Mike, as a special two album package (the original Close Calls With Brick Walls on one disc, and an additional CD called Mother Of Mankind, containing rare and unreleased material). After the recent release of 55 Cadillac - a compilation of improvised solo piano compositions - Close Calls With Brick Walls / Mother Of Mankind deliver the slamming, inspirational music for which Andrew W.K. is loved, coupled with new sounds and feelings rarely associated with his traditional work.

Close Calls With Brick Walls was recorded in multiple sessions throughout 2004 and 2005, using the full Andrew W.K. touring band for the first time. With a full instrumental band, the new album includes exciting new performances, styles, and rhythms. The lyrics are more complex although still very playful, and Andrew s voice has grown into something much more distinct and expressive.

The roots of the album and the changes it signals lie in the story behind the unorthodox path Andrew took to fame and, specifically, the dramatic contrast between his early years as part of a free-spirited music scene in his hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan and the transformation in attitude and image and personality that came about after he had assumed the role of Andrew W.K. The trademark white t-shirt and jeans he wore in public was also adopted in order to help create an easily-identifiable image. And it worked. Audiences embraced Andrew W.K. as the long-haired, straight-talking, everyman rock icon who oozed positivity and made his fans feel that not only was it OK to be different but that it was OK to be yourself and not feel embarrassed about being awkward or goofy.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Skyler Loomis on March 26, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As a huge fan of all of his previous work I was slightly concerned when I began listening to Close Calls With Brick Walls. It starts as something very un-Andrew WK like. I was skeptical at first, but soon Not Going to Bed begins and you know that he has not lost the ability to party at all. The rest of the album showcases a more mature and more musically diverse sound then one would immediately expect.

Disk Two, titled Mother Of Mankind is an odd mix of sounds that range from classic AWK party music to semi-psychedelic rock. There is even some stuff that sounds, to me, straight out of the 1980s. I found it to grow on me extremely quickly. More than once I felt I was going to dislike a song, but by the end I felt like I understood why it existed and why I am glad to have heard it.

A long time fan may find themselves disappointed at first because it is not as simple as "I Get Wet" but I highly recommend everyone give it a chance, because it is hard to no find something that appeals to you in this awesome collection.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By MookieTheKid on March 29, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Andrew WK's first record, I Get Wet, ranks among my all-time favorites, and I have eagerly greeted each new outing. Putting aside his valiant efforts at performance art at NYU, his piano album, some other jazz material, and his television show Break Stuff, Duct Tape Stuff, Break Stuff, I am mostly in it for the music, and have long hoped for more in the vein of I Get Wet.

The Wolf was a solid, if un-ambitious, follow-up to I Get Wet, but it was good enough for me. I held off on buying the third record, Close Calls With Brick Walls, at the import price in 2006, settling to listen to the stream on the AWK web page and waiting for an American release. From that first listen in 2006 the record did not make much of an impression, but Mr. WK had still earned the benefit of the doubt. The dual Close Calls / Mother of Mankind seemed to be my reward for waiting. Sadly, I find the third album a poor imitation of the fun, rocking, free-spirited sound that started with I Get Wet and has steadily degenerated with each new album. Worse, it seems derivative, both refusing to break new ground and failing to encapsulate the brilliance of I Get Wet.

Mother of Mankind promises b-sides and rarities over a ten year period. The early material delivers a similar tone to AWK's first album (and his excellent EPs) but reminds one that b-sides are not often hidden gems, just songs that were properly left out. I am not sure what qualifies as a rarity any more as I assume most of this stuff was not found in an Egyptian tomb, but it packs little punch other than as a curiosity to the most staunch AWK historian (even in that case I am not sure how many spins I will ever give to the disc).

I like Andrew WK. I really do.
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By OMEGA on April 13, 2010
Format: Audio CD
Have to start this review off with this... I Get Wet was nearly ten years ago now... its time to get over it. If youre somebody who thinks a musician is going to be playing the same music they were playing ten years ago... then you must be acustomed to listening to some pretty uncreative musicians. Music changes, people change, and thats whats happened here. For anybody who hasnt already heard Close Calls With Brick Walls (because it was released four years ago), unfortuneately your development of Andrew WK is delayed. As far as I go, Ive had four years to enjoy the new Andrew WK that is heard on Close Calls With Brick Walls. Ill admit that four years ago I felt strange listening to it, and at times like something was going wrong. But after the first couple of plays the CD came around to be just as enjoyable as I Get Wet and The Wolf. Honestly, and I know this isnt a review of I Get Wet, but I Get Wet compared to anything is (along with The Wolf) one of the greatest CDs for me. A CD that for nearly ten years has not become any less enjoyable as it did the first listen. The energy in Close Calls With Brick Walls changed, but just because hes not shouting, and because the sound has changed, it has not taken any of the brightness and action away from it. Still packed with the feeling its always given me when I listen to it, close calls with brick walls is just an artists growth.
As for the exciting stuff for me, the second CD Mothers Of Mankind, I would love to know just what is from when. What is from '99, what is from '01, what is from '02 and what is from '06... and what did he just do? Thats no complaint as far as the layout of that, Close Calls With Brick Walls or the whole package is layed out. Honestly, I am impressed.
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By Mr. K on April 2, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This 2 cd compilation is everything you would expect from an artist who wants you to expect nothing.

Those interested in the performance art and intricate mind games created by the Andrew W.K. team will find even more subtle clues to help them unravel the truth behind the Steev Mike enigma. The thoughts and words between the lines coupled with the seemingly obvious and yet questionably obvious reality that he's constructed continue to stretch the minds of the fans that have become known as friends.

The truth is, if you're a remotely normal person you'll absolutely hate some of the songs on this album, you might even hate a lot of songs on this album....

Then something will happen...

You'll wake up then next morning with these anthems of joy stuck in your mind.

You'll start to build a relationship with not just the music, but something more powerful. You'll start to embrace, even if on a subconscious level, the feeling of unencumbered joy.

Your ego will fight you and tell you what horrible taste you have.

Your "friends" will mock you as their brains will have no way of understanding what is pulling at your heart and mind.

But the guilty pleasure that will become known as AWK will anker itself into the mental frames of your life. You will start to see that the distractions and the parties that seemed like blatant calls for mindless exuberance can also be subtle metaphors for a way to reshape your life.

challenger yourself to see this artist as philosophical satirist that's challenging you to take on your life and step out of the "reality" that the rest of the world has created. He's leading the way for you, he's telling you it's ok to be Totally Stupid.
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