You don’t have to read the Youtube comments under the videos for the album singles to realise he’s upset a lot of his long term fans. Instead of Lee dropping a glam metal album we would all expect, he has taken 2 years to craft something different, yet uniquely Tommy Lee.
The album features a range of guest vocalists and is the first solo work from Lee for 15 years, with his last LP arriving in the form of 2005’s ‘Tommyland: The Ride’.
“It was me sitting around writing like a maniac,” he recalls. “I would just go down to the studio and tweak out – it would be like, ‘Whoa, he’s been down there for fucking days.’ But I would just be banging on the keyboard, and a sound would inspire me, or suddenly there would be this beat…and it all just followed.”
By collaborating with a bunch of artists and allowing them to write their own lyrics the album has taken many forms. ‘Knock Me Down’ opens the album with an ear grabbing performance from the utter force of nature that is rapper Killvein. Its aggression in music form. Later on the album sees Killvein in a more restrained manner with ‘Leave Me Alone’ and you get to appreciate the talent of this guy.
After the industrial metal of the first track what follows flips it all on the head. A prince inspired track ‘You Dancy’ is a slick dance floor number with some high pitched soulful lyrics. The prince theme is carried over with Lukas Rossi featuring again with a cover of ‘When You Were Mine’. Slowed down and stripped back to really let Rossi vocals shine on this gothic metal ballad.
There’s a sense that Tommy has created many of these tracks to showcase artists that he loves. “Good music is so rare these days,” he observes in earnest, “that I just tried my hardest to do something that hasn’t been done yet. I really just like turning people on to new shit.
The album is dominated by rap artists as Tommy has giving them a showcase to show off their skills. ‘Ain’t Tellin Me Nothing’ and ‘SOMA COMA’ With their urban beats and frantic lyrical delivery are reminiscent of the rap that dominated the charts briefly in the early 2000’s
Prince vibe returns with track ‘Caviar On A Paper Plate’ though this is a prince without the soulful production. The stop start dynamics bounce with the lyrics
The girls get a chance to shine also. With Brooke Candy on ‘Demon bitches’ and Push Push on ‘Tops’ Two fierce hard hitting rap tracks which contrast with a the elegantly voiced LA songstress King Elle Noir as Lee gets all graceful with the romantic pop of ‘P.R.E.T.T.Y’ and produces some
R&B rhythms with ‘Make This Storm’. Easy to forget the album has Tommy’s name on it.
Dreamy electronic R&B carries on with ‘Make it Back’. Plyah’s vocals are light and soaring and they play over floating electronics and heavy drum beats. Another slick dance track to go with ‘You Dancy’ and the male/female split this album
Andro is a startlingly cohesive work. And Lee even ended up recognizing a bit of accidental conceptualizing, subsequently splitting the record into male and female halves – with the women making for a particularly explosive presence.
As Lee explains,
“In end it felt like there should be a male and female split, it just made more sense that way.”
The album closes with a remix that started it all. After Lee come across a song recorded by rapper Tyla Yaweh titled ‘Tommy Lee’ featuring Post Malone. Lee was so stoked he got in touch with both Tyla and Malone, and without hesitation they recorded two remixes of the song.
“One of them was like a trap version and then the other one was just a full straight-ahead rock version, with banging drums and guitars. They love that version so we went with it on the record.”
This is an album that needs work. You need to give it the attention it deserves and it will repay you. This isn’t a record by Tommy Lee superstar drummer. This is an album by Tommy Lee the music fan.
A statement from Lee’s label Better Noise Music said the tracks
“Challenge virtually everything you thought you knew about [Lee] and his musical proclivities,” describing them as “the music that he was meant to make.”
Get your copy here
Check out album opener, below:
Tommy Lee – Andro tracklisting
1. Knock Me Down ft. Killvein
2. You Dancy ft. Lukas Rossi
3. Ain’t Tellin Me Nothing ft. Pavan Mukhi?
4. SOMA COMA ft. Shotty Horroh
5. When You were Mine ft. Lukas Rossi
6. Hot Fudge Sundae ft. Josh Todd
7. Caviar on A Paper Plate ft. Mickey Avalon
8. Leave Me Alone ft. Killvein
9. Demon Bitches ft. Brooke Candy, Moon Bounce
10. P.R.E.T.T.Y ft. King Elle Noir
11. Tops ft. Push Push
12. Make This Storm King Elle Noir
13. Make it Back ft. PLYA
14. Tommy Lee [Tommy Lee Remix] ft. Tyla Yahweh, Post Malone