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Pop - Released July 26, 2019 | S-Curve Records

Andy Grammer named his third album Naïve in an attempt to reclaim the word. Grammer's argument is that it's a positive to always look on the bright side of life, so if naysayers label him naïve, well, he'll just lean into that criticism. What this means as a listening experience is a bit harder to parse. Naïve certainly is a brighter, bouncier affair than The Good Parts, the 2017 album that took pains to demonstrate that Grammer was a much more mature and thoughtful singer/songwriter than his novelty hit "Honey, I'm Good" suggested. The return of a light touch is welcome on Naïve, but Grammer isn't a party guy. That much is clear from "My Hero," which spins the cavernous clamor of Imagine Dragons into affirmational pop. Affirmations are a big thing for Grammer. When he sings "Wish You Pain," it's only because he loves you so much that he wants you to grow, get better, and evolve. It's the language of positivity and it flows throughout Naïve, evident even when the surfaces are chilly and steely, which they often are. Grammer strategically fuses Ryan Tedder's slick gloss with the oversized wallop of the Imagine Dragons, using rappers Andy Mineo & Swoope and Ladysmith Black Mambazo as stylistic accents. It's enough to add some stylistic variety, but Naïve is unified by Grammer's self-belief, which is so all-consuming, it's supposed to function as a design for life for the at-home listener. Whether Naïve winds up as a self-help album depends entirely on whether it's possible to see yourself within the reflection of its glassy surfaces. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Pop - Released January 24, 2019 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released December 9, 2016 | S-Curve Records

Pop - Released November 1, 2017 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released November 1, 2017 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released April 12, 2019 | S-Curve Records

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Rock - Released December 12, 2017 | S-Curve Records

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Having made his mark with his single "Keep Your Head Up," which stormed the AC and Adult Top 40 charts, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Andy Grammer follows up with a full-length self-titled album of more of the same. Grammer is nothing if not ingratiating, constructing infectious pop/rock arrangements and singing lyrics of love in his bouncy tenor. He borrows lightly from hip-hop in the music and reveals the influence of rap in the vocals, coming up with lots of lyrics and internal rhymes. But there is also the echo of jazzy vocalese, so that he's far closer to Michael Franks than to any rapper. In fact, his closest antecedent may be John Mayer, that is, the John Mayer of "Your Body Is a Wonderland," not the John Mayer intent on proving he has guitar chops like Jimi Hendrix. Grammer basically wants to make musical catnip for a female audience, usually directing himself to a significant other and singing words of encouragement and affection. Even when things don't seem to be going so well (and it's hard to imagine why) in, for instance, "You Should Know Better," he is calling his respondent "the one I love" and assuring her, "I still believe in you." And if, despite this, she still dumps him, in "Miss Me," he feels certain she will come back. In "Ladies," Grammer explains that he has come by his honeyed message for all females by heeding what he was told by his mother, and he freely tells all women within earshot, "You are beautiful, you don't even have to try." It seems likely that a significant number of them won't be able to resist his charms. He closes the album with "Biggest Man in Los Angeles," a typically sunny reminiscence of his days busking the streets of his hometown. Rosy as he makes it sound, he probably isn't going to have to do that again. ~ William Ruhlmann
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Pop - Released December 12, 2017 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released November 3, 2017 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released January 24, 2019 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released January 24, 2019 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released November 1, 2017 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released March 17, 2017 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released November 1, 2017 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released January 24, 2019 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released January 24, 2019 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released March 3, 2017 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released November 18, 2016 | S-Curve Records

Pop - Released August 24, 2015 | S-Curve Records

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Pop - Released April 8, 2014 | S-Curve Records

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