Written by Lauren Rosier
There’s a certain magical simplicity in Rob Alexander as you listen to the opening song on his record, Being Myself. “This Hollywood Road” has a familiarity with it; similar to a song or samples of songs on adult contemporary radio from previous years.
Rob Alexander is a South Florida-based musician. His sound is very largely piano-driven accompanied by big-crooning pop vocals. Alexander’s album features three members of Elton John’s current band: Matt Bissonette (bass), Kim Bullard (keyboards), and John Mahon (percussion). His band also features pro guitarists Robbie Angelucci and Kevin Taylor, with production by Gabe Lopez.
“This Hollywood Road” is perfectly created for adult contemporary radio. The melody incorporates synths and pianos and a great percussion section. The dynamics rise and fall in the most effective places in the song where they’re able to shine the most.
The opening of “Life As We Know It” reminds me of some of the classic songs from the ’70s and ’80s.
“Never Gonna Let You Go” is a piano-driven love song about a significant other where he sings “look at that face/in a time of darkness/there’s a little light to embrace.” This song is just a sweet song lyrically paired with a piano-based melody that also features a beautiful saxophone solo that begins at 2:36. It accompanies the piano so beautifully and really helps to create a song reminiscent of a 90’s love ballad.
The track “Our Love Will Last Forever” is the next song on the album and it brings a resemblance to some of the greatest adult pop contemporary songs in the last decade or so. The volume on the vocals is a little quieter than I normally prefer; however, the instrumentation in the song does not drown out the vocals.
“Fed Up” has some beautiful acoustic guitar parts in the opening of the song. For me, it was a little confusing. The song began with these soft, gentle acoustic guitars, which then broke into moody vocals and darker melody. It wasn’t one of my favorite tracks on the album and it just felt like the song had multiple parts in different genres that did not blend well.
One of the most rock-oriented tracks on the record is “I-O-U.” The electric guitar incorporates funky grooves with Alexander’s pop vocals layered precisely over the funky bass and guitar parts. I love the opening of the song as it features both the bass and guitar quite effectively. I love it when you can hear the bass prominently. About 1:35 into the song, there’s a solid guitar solo, but yet you can still hear the bass thumping. This track is definitely one of the best on the record.
One of the last songs on the album, “Kaden,” is another rock ‘n roll track that is a change from some of the other songs on the record. They add diversity to the otherwise adult contemporary pop album. I, however, would have liked to hear some more upbeat songs on the album.
I think Alexander has a lot of potential in the adult contemporary genre. The general vibe of his music is familiar enough that music lovers of that genre can easily enjoy his work. For others, it may be more trying to find that the album is a go-to for a full top-to-bottom listen.
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