Andy Grammer’s self-titled debut record is as solid as any debut record could be from an artist in any genre of music. It’s a great album from start to finish, with more than its share of radio ready pop songs. It has the same pop sensibilities as Bruno Mars, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and many more. It’s one of those albums that makes for a great road trip record, or even a weekend party. For a first album, it’s a great first impression on listeners who are new to this up and coming pop star.
Speaking of first impressions, first impressions are said to be the most important in pretty much any aspect of life. That includes in music, too. And Grammer puts forward the best of first impressions on his debut record with the album opener, “Keep Your Head Up.” He hits on a note here to which everybody can relate. He sings of trying to make ends meet and pay the bills, and the associated mental and financial strain of it all. Yet through it all, he reminds audiences that even through such circumstances, “You gotta keep your head up/And you can let your hair down/I know it’s hard to remember sometimes/But, you gotta keep your head up/and you can let your hair down.” It’s a reminder to audiences of all ages that even in the toughest times, the worst thing that any person can do is let that strain get to him/her. Both lyrically and musically, it’s one of those uplifting songs that serves a greater purpose than merely being a song. Sure, it’s a pop song. But it’s an uplifting pop song. And something uplifting is exactly what the world needs right now. So kudos to Mr. Grammer for this first impression.
The album’s first impression isn’t all that will cause listeners to sing Grammer’s praises. Listeners–especially female listeners–will applaud him for the simply titled and lyrically straight forward song, “Ladies.” “Ladies” is both a fun and empowering song. It’s got a great solid beat that’ll get both male and female listeners moving. The lyrical content is what will really win over listeners, though. Grammer sings to his female listeners, “Ladies, you are beautiful, you are beautiful/You don’t even have to try/Ladies, you are beautiful, you are beautiful/More than you realize.” This chorus is only one part of an entire song that both male and female listeners will appreciate. The whole song is presented almost as a story. Grammer explains throughout the song that his mother’s upbringing is to thank for such a song. He writes that she tells him how women are viewed as candy, and that he needs to stand up for her and women in general. Now if this doesn’t get him some kudos, nothing will. Not many male pop stars are willing to write such an empowering song. So it’s good to hear such positive words from a male towards his female audiences.
Andy Grammer’s debut record is a hit because of not only its lyrical content, but also because of its musical radio friendly nature. it should be noted that it does carry the requisite songs of love lost and love gained. But what’s really interesting about those songs is that whether love lost or gained, the musical side of the songs really enhance the lyrical content without overdoing it. This is something that far too many mainstream pop stars get wrong. They over indulge on both sides of the bar, whereas Grammer gets it just right, thanks to the guys behind the boards. One of the prime examples of that is on “Slow.” Grammer sings of perhaps a man talking to a woman who’s been burned one time too many by bad relationships. The man is trying to get her to realize he isn’t like other guys. He sings to the woman, “I give you everything you need/Sunshine, the world and all your dreams/So what are we waiting for?/But lately, it’s yellow lights and you’re breaking/Say you just want to wait and see it all unfold/Baby when you find what you’re seeking/Something you can believe in, you just got to go.” He might be a bit over anxious. But he wants her to know he cares. And the musical side of the song really gets that mix of emotions from both sides through.
“Slow” is just one of many examples that could be pulled from this record as proof of what makes it such a solid work. The reality is that it’s such a solid work that pretty much any of the album’s nearly dozen tracks could be used as a radio single. that being the case, if this is just Andy Grammer’s first impression for fans, then it’s a strong, positive impression that could lead him to much more success in the future, given the right support.