An illustrious guitar’s humming tonality awakens a patchwork of bluesy percussion in “I Love You Blues (Redux),” and as anyone who picks up a copy of Yours Truly, Me…, the new record from Mr. Alex Lopez, will find out this month, this song’s magical melodies are on par with what listeners can expect to get out of every single track on this magnetizing album. Lopez harmonizes with the strings in the most elegant of ways here, while in other tracks, like “I Can’t Stop (Redux),” he makes his instrumentation the crown jewel in his always-elaborate narratives. Even in the stampede of riffing that is “Cheating Blues (Redux),” he’s utilizing every weapon at his disposal in this mission to get our souls as stirred up as would be possible when listening to a studio-born LP, and as angular as some of the arrangements in this record are, they’re never so intimidating as to repel occasional blues fans looking for some fun beats this fall. This has the look and feel of a genuine opus, and it’s one of my picks for best blues record of the season so far.
Lopez doesn’t spend all of his time tearing up electric riff-rock in Yours Truly, Me…; he’s just as cunning a crooner in the slow songs like “Take Me Back Home (Redux)” and “I Will Miss You” as he is in the violent guitar volley of “I’m a Losing It (Redux)” and the blue-collar jammer “I’m a Working Man.” I think that, while it might not have been required of him in this album, he made a really important decision in making this record about his duality as an arranger and guitarist and not about his dexterity as a player in the modern age.
He could have filled up this tracklist with a lot of filler and grandiosities that almost any guitarist could conjure up if pressed hard enough, but he didn’t – he made an LP that is indebted to the substance-first ethics of an OG generation of blues players that would be more than pleased with songs like “Chase My Blues Away” and its pumped-up, groove-packed neighbor “All I Really Want Is You.”
“Woe Is Me” gets everything started off on a rhythmic note at the onset of Yours Truly, Me…, but it doesn’t overshadow any of the boldly-stylized content that follows its initial dispensing of devastatingly handsome harmonies. I very seldom – if ever at all – take interest when artists try to cover iconic rock groups like ZZ Top, but with Alex Lopez’s adaptation of “Tush,” it’s difficult to resist the urge to move every muscle in my body to the track’s tenacious tempo. It’s a slowed-down rendition of the otherwise agile but portly classic, and it couldn’t have fit in any better amongst this first half of the LP than it did. I’ll admit that I came into this review with a lot of expectations based on Lopez’s reputation for perfection alone, but I wasn’t anticipating being as impressed with the intricacies of this music as I ultimately was. Get yourself some of Yours Truly, Me… this season – if you love blue-hued rock like I do, you definitely won’t regret it.