Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness / Andrew McMahon

Zombies on Broadway

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Zombies on Broadway is Andrew McMahon's second album as Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness -- a moniker he adopted in 2014, but he has effectively been a solo act since he developed Jack's Mannequin in 2004. Some 13 years later, McMahon remains faithful to the overblown melodicism he pioneered in Something Corporate, but Zombies on Broadway, like 2014's Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness before it, shows that the singer/songwriter is happy to adapt to the times. Echoes of Fun. can be heard throughout the album, particularly whenever the percussion pounds alongside endless layers of harmonies, and he's dabbling with vocoders and other electronics. Even so, McMahon is dedicated to carefully constructed melodies and earnest emotional blood-spilling. As always, the tension and pleasure within McMahon is that gulf between his sincerity -- with his plaintive, keening voice, he seems to mean every feeling he sings -- and his candied music. On Zombies on Broadway, there's an even greater emphasis on disco, electropop, and other pop styles that are generally dismissed as frivolous -- "Brooklyn, You're Killing Me" and "Shot Out of a Canyon" are both high-grade dance-pop -- and its gleaming surface feels shinier than previous McMahon productions, but rather than seeming like an attempt to chase trends, these inflections and accents feel like a culmination of craft. McMahon has long understood how to craft a song, and Zombies on Broadway proves he has the studio skills to match.

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