Rob Alexander releases LP
Rob Alexander releases LP
Love comes into our life like a whirlwind out of nowhere, sweeping us off of our feet and elevating us to somewhere new and fresh. As quickly as it arrives though, it can be gone, as fleeting as the last light from a setting sun, suddenly burning off into the universe like it was never there at all. It takes two hearts to generate this one feeling, and nature decides just how far that feeling will inevitably take us. Sometimes we get to a point in our most passionate relationships where it feels like one person is putting in more than the other, and that person doing all the heavy lifting is left with the burden of knowing what could be instead of what presently is. Singer/songwriter Rob Alexander captures this story with an iconic signature style forged out of years of devotion to music, in his debut single “Better Than That,” from the new album Long Road Coming Home, both of which are out now. Alexander might be new to the studio, but he certainly isn’t new to his craft, having been refining his vocal and instrumental abilities for almost a decade now, culminating in this excellent full-length LP.
The American songbook is as diverse as the nation that has written it, from the feverish, raw adrenaline of Los Angeles hardcore punk to the smooth, soulful sounds of Detroit’s Motown. Florida, Rob Alexander’s home state, has provided us such a wide ranging variety of styles and sounds from its native sons and daughters, not to mention some of the most fascinatingly chaotic independent music scenes in the entire nation. Alexander is truly emerging from a competitive environment if there ever was one in the arts, and the fact that he’s only a part-time musician (and part-time M.D.) makes Long Road Coming Home all the more remarkable of a debut record. Not only does the maturity of “Better Than That” far and away exceed that of his contemporaries, but it has a genuinely honest sensibility to it that is reminiscent of early Billy Joel in its humility. Not dissimilar from Joel, Alexander has a gifted command over the piano keys in the single, creating a bittersweet jangle in the chorus that is quite charming and hooky at the same time. It didn’t take much time for the critics to rip into Joel for his unorthodox, irreverent attack and poppy songwriting structures, but hopefully my fellow journalists have learned something from the mistakes of our forerunners.
With that said, Rob Alexander is a treasure of a composer and singer, and the pragmatism of his lyrical and musical arrangements is nothing short of intoxicating to the ear. I’d love to see him perform a live set, as his studio work here tells me that he could light up a coffeehouse or a stadium with little trouble either way. Artists like these are hard to come by, and I certainly am taking note of both “Better Than That” and the exciting entertainer behind it.