Kyle has written that Kangaroo is his attempt to produce something happy. Brooding lyrics seem to abound in Andrews’ songs, and it’s as if he’s attempting to appease the pop-consuming audience by placating to their need for sunny, happy lyrics. Pop music and sad lyrics don’t always blend well, but Andrews always managed to combine the two seamlessly, providing more depth than the genre usually allows. However, Kangaroo is really a sad EP disguised as a happy one. The only completely happy song is the first track “You Always Make Me Smile” with its absurd listing of qualities: “I like your messy hair / I like the clothes you wear / I like the way you sing / and when you dance with me / I don’t know why I love you / I just know I can’t stop thinking of you / Oh wait / It’s cause you make me smile”.
The problem with Andrews penning songs that ‘look on the bright side’ is that he’s not entirely comfortable doing it, even if the music leans in that direction. Kangaroo is only 6 songs long, with the first track repeated as a remix. There’s also a remix of a previously released song. So there are really only four new songs on here that can be deemed ‘happy’, and then, only slightly. Positive is probably a better description for what Kyle Andrews is aiming for; he states that he wrote many of these songs when he wasn’t very happy at all—and it shows. Kangaroo sounds like a sad man’s glimmer of hope. The songs themselves are all infectious, with sugary pop sensibilities, but none reach the brilliance of the “Slow Dancing at the Prom Mix” of the third track “Sushi”—a song previously released with a much faster dance style on Andrews’ 2009 full-length Real Blasty. Kangaroo is a solid effort by a gifted DIY singer/songwriter who does not like to limit his reach or sound, and although his happy still sounds a little bit like sad, it’s still a very welcome feeling.
// Notes from the Road
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