Rob Alexander – Long Road Coming Home
Casual fans and music enthusiasts alike will be greatly pleased with the latest full length album from Florida’s acclaimed burgeoning pop singer/songwriter Rob Alexander, Long Road Coming Home, and it’s imaginative single “Better Than That,” which has had critics buzzing since its initial release earlier this year. Inspired by classic pop/rock composers like Elton John and Jackson Browne, Alexander adds his own unique flavor to the adult contemporary genre with Long Road while still managing to stay true to the roots that he so proudly draws influence from. One of the brightest highlights from the record, the song “Better Than That” acts as a perfect starting point for us to observe its songwriter’s persona, direction and overall profile in the indie music scene.
To the uninformed listener, producing an album can appear to be something that really anyone could do, since it typically doesn’t require any of the traditional talents associated with making a record (i.e. singing and/or playing an instrument). On the contrary, producing an album, an extended play or a single is one of the most challenging jobs in the studio, even more than laying down the actual music parts in most cases, since for the artists, this is just another rendition of a piece that they’ve already refined and perfected prior to coming in to work. Rob Alexander made a fine choice in selecting the superbly talented Gabe Lopez to produce “Better Than That” and its sibling songs on Long Road Coming Home. Lopez creates a spellbinding vacuum effect with the piano and bass parts that makes it easy for us to isolate Alexander’s vocal parts and guitar harmonies away from the feedback of the bass and backing band. The clarity is so raw and precise that it’s not hard to forget you’re even wearing headphones or listening through stereo speakers. When combined with the intimate nature of Alexander’s contemplation, “Better Than That” makes for not just a slice of rhythmic pop gold, but a cutting glimpse into the genuine vulnerability that this artist is capable of expressing on a record.
2018 is a time like none other we’ve ever experienced before in popular music. The advent of social networking has taken artist independence to the next level of control, and like never before we’re seeing genres and sounds evolve at a speed unmatched by previous generations and their associated scenes.
Grass roots artistry has taken on an entirely new meaning and identity along with it, and those with discerning tastes have noticed how hard it has become, in the midst of all these new varieties to select from, to find the treasures amongst the trash. While there’s no doubt in my mind that there are plenty of talented, well-meaning songwriters coming out of the south Florida scene right now, none of them have made the impression on me that Rob Alexander has with this new single. College radio is bound to take note, and from there I can only see things getting bigger and bigger for Alexander, and something tells me that isn’t just a good thing for him, but also a great thing for those of us who love great pop music.