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Andrew X’s “Whatever It Takes”

Whether born of hope or heartache, some of our boldest decisions come to fruition amid strife of some sort, often aided by determination on the flipside to get to a better moment beyond a dark tunnel. What’s at the other end? How will we get there? These are just a few of the meaningful questions provoked in an initial observation of Andrew X’s “Whatever It Takes,” the new single and music video this singer/songwriter has to offer fans this October. Andrew guides us along a cerebral melodic trip that sees us venturing into the depths of his disposition in ways most artists would shy away from, and the message of the song burns true on many levels. When he’s not practicing his craft live on the stage, he’s in the studio refining his aesthetic and shaping the parameters of his creativity, and the fruits of his labor are on full display in this stunning slice of easy-listening pop/rock.

Andrew X doesn’t employ lyrics alone to forge the emotional landscape of his songs. The music presented to us in “Whatever It Takes” is just as intricately complex in its structure as the words are, if not more so. Pop music that relies on lyrical content alone to translate the feelings of an artist isn’t as captivating nor as memorable as this type of track is, and that could be why it sparkles as much as it does when juxtaposed with the recent works of his peers.

Instead of overwhelming us with a lot of useless metaphors or tired platitudes, he’s speaking to us on a level close to stream of consciousness and allowing the music to add a texture to the words that makes the song feel complete. It’s often said that it’s easier to make adult contemporary-themed singles than it is in any other style of music, but I would beg to differ. Andrew’s play in this song brings out many of the splendidly minute details in the genre that aren’t typically magnified by its more successful mainstream artists.

A reflective, bittersweet power ballad with a narrative that is almost universally applicable, “Whatever It Takes” is as much about Andrew X’s experiences as it is many of our own, and though it’s still an early look single it demonstrates the tremendous amount of potential that he has as a rising star in the singer/songwriter community. He might have a lot of competition coming his way from virtually all sides of the American and British undergrounds at the moment, but he’s making a nice enough impact in the pop scene that it might convince him to focus on this part of his life full-time. It’s hard to say at this juncture of time, but with modern music diversifying as much as it is right now, I think that there’s more than enough room for his style of pop; which is as tangibly connective as it is wondrously melodic. All in all, this is a player that I think most listeners need to be paying some attention to at the moment.

Mindy McCall



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