URL: https://www.alexiskeegan.com/instagram

There’s a gloomy blue overtone to the velvety verses adorning the grooves in Alexis Keegan’s “What Am I Supposed to Do.” From the moment that her breathy vocal comes into focus, the melody it emits is saturated in a solemn but colorful texture; in both what she’s singing and how she’s singing it, she’s expressing an emotionality to us that is aching and pained. The torturous feeling of being lost and alone with that integral missing piece in our lives is literally translated into a vibrant, boredom-extinguishing soul anthem for the ages in “What Am I Supposed to Do,” and despite the fact that it’s one of the more stripped down tracks that I’ve heard lately from an instrumental perspective, it’s not devoid of an acerbic tonality that is found only in the most literate and robustly produced singles that I review. Alexis Keegan is using every sonic weapon at her disposal to get a reaction out of us here, and much like she has in the previous outings, she does a terrific job from beginning to end.

This is definitely a more boisterous ballad compositionally than any of the similarly stylized songs that have been making their way up the charts lately, and I like that Keegan doesn’t steal all of the thunder away from the really well-rounded instrumentation supporting her. The chemistry between her and the backing band is absolutely off the chain in “What Am I Supposed to Do,” and in the chorus she could easily be mistaken for a legendary jazz crooner of the roaring 20’s. I get the feeling that this song was likely created out of an open-ended jam session, mostly because of its somewhat formless harmonies that bond perfectly to the rhythm of the drums. It’s got the defined lines of a stage epic that a group of musicians would come up with on the spot simply by playing off of each other’s cues and following the energy, wherever it may take them. “What Am I Supposed to Do” makes me very curious to see Keegan live at some point in the future, because if even a fraction of this magnificent presence translates to her in-concert performance, it would make for a must-see gig for sure.

The passionate pipes of Alexis Keegan have got us talking once again this season, and I think in comparison to the sleeper hit “Gospel” and the EP of experimental remixes that it led to, “What Am I Supposed to Do” is more reflective of who Keegan is becoming as a solo artist, and perhaps most importantly, what we can expect out of her camp in the future. She’s been getting progressively closer to the soul/jazz style that she’s playing with here in each of the last three releases that she’s shared with us, and I think that she’s proving to be very good at it from pretty much every angle that I’ve examined her sound from. Keegan never fails to surprise me with her majestic musicality, and in that sense, this new single is no different than any other she’s cut.

Photo by Merideth Carlson 

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/artist/58U2dw8DQDSvmEJjvwToN6?si=iq0LX8LVQO6cMAK51chQYw

Michael Rand

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