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"Upside Down Flowers" Andrew McMahon

by Vincent Croce - Lead Staff Photographer
Wed, Dec 5th 2018 01:00 pm

Renowned singer and songwriter Andrew McMahon has released his third solo album focused, on exploring his nostalgia within his relationships and hardships. Under the moniker “Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness,” McMahon debuted “Upside Down Flowers” on Friday, Nov. 16, just one year after releasing his last album, “Zombies on Broadway.” 

You may know Andrew McMahon from other bands, such as Something Corporate or Jack’s Mannequin, as he was the lead vocalist and pianist. Something Corporate was a punk rock band started by McMahon in high school. Stunting three albums, Something Corporate was the high school band success story of the century. 

After differences with the band members, McMahon formed a new band titled Jack’s Mannequin. Presenting more indie, alternative rock, the band debuted its first of three albums, “Everything in Transit.” McMahon’s claim to fame song came from this album titled “Dark Blue” which still sits on the top 100 indie chart today.

Coming back into the music scene, Jack’s Mannequin had worked hard on a new album titled “The Glass Passenger,” which spoke on the hardships and the realization of the fragility of life. While it was mutual for the band to split, McMahon took his own path and began writing solo and releasing music under the name “Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness.”

“Upside Down Flowers” is a very pop-centered and melodic album focused on his new family, his past, moving from state to state and the relationships he sustained with friends. Tracks like “Ohio” and “Paper Rain” explore his movement from New Jersey to California, then to Ohio while he was an early teenager. McMahon spoke about uncertainty of liking the new areas he was moving to and being accepted by students at school or in his town. The lead track, “Teenage Rockstars,” is self-explanatory for those who follow McMahon and his work. Regardless, it goes along with “This Wild Ride” and “Goodnight Rock and Roll” speaking about being in Something Corporate and the success plus imminent failure of the band with the toll it took on McMahon.

“Upside Down Flowers” is a personal work that was executed with catchy choruses and beautiful melodies, what McMahon is ultimately known for. Best known for this on the album is “Blue Vacation,” which was very pop inspired. Concerning United States politics and how problematic they are, McMahon ties in the idea of raising his daughter, Cecilia, in this world we live in.

From the days of Something Corporate to his solo career, Andrew McMahon showed that he is not just a musician, but also a fighter and storyteller. Throughout all of his life, with relationships, constant moving, sickness, death, family and modern problems, Andrew McMahon covered a wide variety of personal topics in “Upside Down Flowers.”

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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