Andrew McMahon can label his music anyway he wants, when you listen to the music it’s distinctively his. That’s certainly the case with his new album, “Zombies on Broadway.” His vocal is identifiable, but it’s his song writing style over the years has always had its own flavor. As absurd as this is going to sound, it’s like drinking the myriad of flavors of Mountain Dew. No matter what color or what gimmick they’re going for, you’re still very aware you’re drinking Mountain Dew. It’s the same thing with McMahon’s music. He can do heavy piano, heavy acoustic, synths, polished and produced, raw, live, whatever – you’re very aware you’re listening to McMahon’s music.
McMahon’s songwriting skill is always impressive, that’s how you can tell it’s his stuff. That said, he still has somewhat of a formula. Musically, a well composed intro leads to a quiet verse. The verse leads to a melodic, raucous chorus that has an awesome hook. Lyrically, McMahon takes something that’s personal to him, wraps it in one or more abstract thoughts, and manages to write something insightful and relatable.
On “Zombies on Broadway” McMahon is in typical form and some of his best work is here. “Fire Escape” belongs in the top 5 songs that he’s written all-time. “Don’t Speak For Me” is probably one of the most polished/produced songs that McMahon has done and it has a very cool modern flair. “So Close” has a chorus that is extremely pop, it’s a fun and addictive track. A personal favorite on the record though is “Brooklyn You’re Killing Me” it’s the one song here that bucks the formula. He’s almost rapping in the verse until the chorus turns melodic.
Andrew McMahon’s “Zombies on Broadway” adds to his works in a good way. His longevity hasn’t come by mistake, he makes great music and he’s done it over and over through the years. He’ll make music as long as we wants, but with “Zombies on Broadway”, he’ll keep gaining new listeners as he does it.