Andy Grammer’s second full length album Magazines or Novels is one of this year’s best new pop albums. Grammer shows on his new album that the past two years on the road haven’t left him any worse for wear. He has picked up on Magazines or Novels right where he left off with his 2011 self-titled debut record as is evidenced by the album’s lead single ‘Back Home.’ The celebratory tune shows that Grammer has actually stepped things up with this album. And the album’s opener ‘Honey, I’m Good’ is sure to impress Grammer’s female fans out there. It takes a road far less traveled in the world of pop music. And the equally poppy love song ‘Holding Out’ is a piece that both Grammer’s male and female fans will appreciate. While it is a song of love found, it’s not the sappy song that so many songs of its ilk prove to be in the long run. These three songs are just a few of the pieces that make Magazines or Novels another hit for Andy Grammer. The album’s remaining six songs each present their own enjoyment, too. Audiences will agree that whether it be for the songs noted here, or the remaining unnoted pieces, there is plenty of reason to call Magazines or Novels one of the best new pop albums of 2014.
Andy Grammer surprised a lot of people in 2011 when he released his self-titled debut record on S-Curve Records. Now three years later, Grammer has shown that he isn’t just another flash-in-the-pan act on his sophomore album. He has proven that right off the bat with the album’s celebratory single ‘Back Home.’ The infectious chorus of “It don’t matter where we go/We always find our way back home” will instantly get stuck in listeners’ heads. And the equally positive vibe of the song’s verses set against its musical backing makes it even clearer why Grammer has a bright future. He sings in the song’s opening verse, “I’m gonna need you to raise your glass/I don’t care what you put in it/Here’s to nights that you can’t take back/We live hard/But we love to laugh/We all thought that we’d get rich fast…See we won’t forget where we came from/This city won’t change us/We beat to the same drum/No we won’t forget where we came from/This city can’t change us/We beat to the same drum.” From here, the song kicks into that celebratory chorus before going on to paying tribute to all the little things that make life so great in the song’s second and third verse. The song’s upbeat musical backing throughout is certain to put a smile on any listener’s face as they sing happily along. From start to finish. All of the elements combined here show why this song was chosen as the first representative work from Grammer’s new album. For that matter, they combine to show why just as the album in whole is one of the year’s best, so is this single by itself one of the year’s best new songs. The video for the song can be viewed online now at Grammer’s official website here.
‘Back Home’ is a wonderful first impression from Andy Grammer on his second full length studio effort. It’s only one song on this record that makes the work in whole such a joy for listeners. Another example of what makes Magazines or Novels such a joy is the album’s opener, ‘Honey, I’m Good.’ In an age when so many pop and R&B songs are centered on breakups and unfaithful significant others, Grammer has proven that it is actually possible to make a song that is about a faithful individual overcoming the temptation of cheating. He sings in this song, “Naw, naw honey I’m good/I could have another/But I probably shouldn’t/I got somebody at home/It’s been a long night here/And a long night there/And these long, long legs have been damn near everywhere/Hold up now/You look good/I will not lie/But if you ask where I’m stayin’ tonight/I gotta be like/Awww, baby/Naw, baby/You got me all wrong, baby/My baby’s already got all of my love/So naw, naw honey, I’m good/I could probably have another/But I probably shouldn’t/I got somebody at home/And if I stay/I might not leave alone/Naw honey, I’m good/I could probably have another/But I probably shouldn’t/I gotta bid you adieu to another/I will stay true.” It’s not the first time that Grammer has paid tribute to women, either. He paid tribute to the memory or his mother and to women in general more than once on his self-titled debut. So that he would pay tribute to women everywhere again is sure to impress quite a few listeners to say the least. Audiences can check out this song on Grammer’s official website along with the video for ‘Back Home’ now here.
It’s a great thing to hear on the opener to Andy Grammer’s new LP that he takes the road far less traveled in the world of pop music. The equally upbeat lead single ‘Back Home’ only adds to the enjoyment that is this album. They obviously aren’t the only songs on this record that make it a standout collection of songs. There is neither enough time nor space to point out every single song that makes Magazines or Novels work as well as it does. There is time and space though, for at least one more example of what makes this album such a joy. That song is the poppy love song ‘Holding Out.’ Grammer sings here about the revelation that past relationships not working out was a good thing. In his words, it was a good thing because he realized that he was just “holding out” for a certain woman. He sings in the song’s opening verse, “When I met you love/I hadn’t done the dirty yet/You called me a unicorn/You said that I didn’t exist/Truth is my heart was torn/The V had a couple of rips/But I was still holding on/To the edges with my fingertips.” He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus that that all changed when his subject met the woman in question, though. He sings of the change, “With a little bit of prayer/With a little bit of porn star (sorry)/Couple long nights of sleeping on my own/Waiting or the right one to come along/Waiting for the right one and now I know that I was holding out for you.” Just as Grammer takes the road less traveled in the album’s opener, so does he take that same road with this piece, too. Rather than take the standard, sappy, overly emotional R&B-style route, he opts for a more upbeat musical backing that still manages to reflect the cautious optimism felt in the blooming romance portrayed in the song’s lyrical side. It’s a wonderful mix of musical and lyrical sensibility that is just as certain to have audiences singing along happily. This is especially the case for Grammer’s female audiences. And heck, even the guys out there could use it with the women they are dating to help put into words how they feel. It’s one more way that this piece makes Magazines or Novels in whole an album that is just as welcome among audiences whether or not they are hearing his music for the first time.
Magazines or Novels is available now in stores and online. It can be downloaded via iTunes and Amazon direct via Grammer’s official website here. Audiences can also pick up his new album at any of the shows on his upcoming tour which kicks off Tuesday, September 9th. The tour includes a performance at The Orange Peel in Asheville, North Carolina on Thursday, September 11th alongside O.A.R. As with the album, tickets for this and all of Andy Grammer’s shows can be purchased direct via Grammer’s website. Along with the latest tour updates, audiences can get the latest news on Andy Grammer online at http://www.facebook.com/andygrammer. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.