I am not your typical metal fan. In fact, I can barely name you five metal bands, none of which I actually like. It was to my great surprise, then, that I was recently introduced to Andrew W.K., a man trekking on the musical frontier, a man who voyages ahead into the mysterious void that exists between metal, classical and pop.

In his second major release, The Wolf, Andrew W.K. furthers his reputation of being a man of many contradictions. Considering the album cover features W.K. with a deeply furrowed brow and an intense gaze (not to mention long, scraggly locks and goatee), one would expect a hard, raw sound. He makes quite the opposite impression, what with aphorism-laden lyrics and a rather upbeat direction. Bonus points are scored for W.K. rockin’ the orchestral accompaniment, no less.

In his 2002 debut album I Get Wet, W.K. focused mainly on party anthems and fist-pumping arena rock songs celebrating the earthly pleasures of beer and ladyfolk. His newest release delves more into power ballads, where his audience might be tempted to break out the lighters and wipe away a stray tear. Furthermore, W.K. manages to prominently showcase years of piano lessons in songs like “Never Let Down” and “I Love Music.”

Andrew W.K. rarely boasts to be the best musician around and given his penchant for repetitive lyrics and occasionally discordant songs; I can understand that. His main objective is to play energetic, upbeat music that serves as an open invitation to his very own hard-rockin’ party – but check your cock rock at the door, because this man wants everyone to be grinning and having a damn good time. And, hey, you’ve gotta’ love W.K. for that; he’s got your best interest in mind.

[Brenna Boyce deserves this week’s award for unparalleled persistence coupled with unrivaled sweetness. Aww.]