Reviewed by Matthew Cordle
Andrew Huang is certainly an unusual and extremely prolific artist; if you read Tony Cummings' interview with him from November 2012 you'll see he has recorded around 100 works per year for the last decade. Additionally, he has a rule that his current release cannot be in the same genre as his previous album, resulting in his covering diverse genres you would not think possible from one artist - his YouTube channel is headed, "I dream of mastering every musical instrument and genre" and his Bandcamp page, "Andrew's goals in life are to make the most awesome music, the most diverse music, and the most music"...no small ambition! Andrew is also highly unconventional and experimental - just search for his "Rock Paper Scissors" video on YouTube as an example. With the unusual album title 'You Are The Devil', this release is no exception to the rule; it keeps the listener guessing from one track to the next. From the full-pelt sonic impact of the opening rap "Obsession" we dive into a sweet-sounding kind of fast ballad, then bounce out into the synth-rock "Smells Like The Devil". Andrew's penned all 15 songs and instrumentals except for his covers of Kayne West's "Dark Fantasy" and Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Getting Back Together", both of which I much preferred to the originals! Sonically, fat analogue basses underpin many of the tracks and there is much use of contrasting sweet and distorted sounds, as in "Cold Fire", many of which you could imagine coming from the mind of Richard D James (Aphex Twin). In terms of vocals, Andrew seems equally at home singing both lead and rich harmonies, or rapping. When you consider how much material he produces, both audibly and visually, it's astonishing that Andrew has the time to produce it so professionally - both creatively inventive and technically excellent. However, what it's all about I have absolutely no idea. . .even having read the lyrics on his Bandcamp page the light bulb remains firmly off. There's an underlying sense of a love relationship having been lost, but there is absolutely no faith-related content at all - a shame, there not being much overtly Christian music like this. You get the feeling that Andrew Huang is having a ball with both creating his music and his video antics and, with over 12.6 million video views on YouTube to-date, I'm sure there is plenty more to come. However, don't go buying 'You Are The Devil' with a view to being spiritually uplifted.
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