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Review - Andrew WK - I Get Wet 10th Anniversary Special Edition

Buy this album - unless you got it the first time around...

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

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Review - Andrew WK - I Get Wet 10th Anniversary Special Edition

I Get Wet (10th Anniversary Special Deluxe Edition)

Century Media
Andrew WK may not have created the concept of party rock, but with his 1991 major label debut I Get Wet, he showed that he had perfected its art. In 12 tracks, the classically trained musician and self-proclaimed Brony created a record without compare, full of party-positive anthems such as "It's Time To Party," "Party Hard," "Fun Night" and "Party 'til You Puke," as well as some other absolutely great tracks not exactly focused on partying (like "She Is Beautiful," "Ready To Die," and "Girls Own Love") that still created the perfect soundtrack for any party, anywhere, anytime. Which is just what he wanted.

The album featured prominently on our list of the best albums of the decade, and it represents his greatest work to date. Along with "We Want Fun," which was featured on the soundtrack to Jackass , these are the Andrew WK essentials that every self-respecting party lover must own.

Now, 10 years in, he has released the 10th Anniversary Special Edition of I Get Wet which, in addition to featuring the original album, has a new version of the original cover (this one a realistic oil painting by artist Gonzalo Garcia) and extensive liner notes with a ton of never-before-seen photos.

It also includes a second disc of previously unreleased material, including live recordings, alternate versions and early versions of songs that would appear on I Get Wet.

The strength of the original disc alone warrants this album a five-star review, and if you don't own it, you should immediately buy this deluxe version. But since that's a given, we're going to focus on the new material for everyone who already owns the record, to examine if it warrants having yet another copy.

So is it wort buying a second time?

Andrew WK

©Nicole Lucas

For the most part, the answer is "not really." The live tracks capture the energy of an Andrew WK live show, which is amazing. I've caught him on a big stage a few times with the Vans Warped Tour as well as crammed into a tiny club here in Amsterdam, where he managed to cram himself with keyboards, three guitarists, a bassist, drums and backup singer on a stage barely a dozen feet wide to perform I Get Wet in its entirety for the 10th anniversary tour to a crowd of just a few hundred sweaty and appreciative fans, and it was amazing. Like I said, the live tracks do capture that energy, but sacrifice quality. They are by no means the greatest live recordings, and in fact aren't that great at all.

The early versions of "It's Time To Party," "Party Hard," "Girls Own Love," "She Is Beautiful" and "Don't Stop Living in the Red" are interesting, already loaded with Andrew WK's infectious energy, but lacking in the polish that made the finished piece truly great. Their roughness hides his musicianship, which is just a big part of the Andrew WK party persona as the energy.

A few other songs warrant notice. "It Just Got Hotter (Sundogs Version)" is an alternate take on "Fun Night" that he did for Arizona Sundogs Hockey, but is really little more than a novelty for anyone other than a Sunddogs fan (and coming from Detroit - AKA Hockeytown - I'm just biased enough to think that no state without snow deserves a hockey team), while his keyboard instrumental version of "Got To Do It" is an uplifiting inspirational track - just like the full version - that would fit on a big-budget film score nicely.

So, while I Get Wet still holds up incredibly after a decade and should be a part of everyone's party mixes, the Deluxe Edition isn't really worth owning a second copy of the record. If you missed out the first time, by all means get this and get ready to party. But if you're already partying hard with I Get Wet, nobody but the most diehard Andrew WK completists need it, as there is nothing here that can bring any more life to the party than the original version already has.

Release Date: August 28, 2012

Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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