The last year certainly brought a lot to the surface culturally, and in the world of music, it created an open window for up and coming artists from across the underground to break into the mainstream and reframe what pop can be in this new decade. Rob Alexander didn’t sit by and let a concert-less year go to waste by any measurement; he was busy cultivating and creating, diving into his own heart to find a means of better understanding his fan base and the music they want to hear him play.
Now 2021 is here, and after a lot of hard work in the studio Alexander presents us with a new album in Dream Out Loud and a single in “A Song to Get Us Through” that together form the most important release he’s ever turned in. As much a romantic power ballad of personal origin as it is a loving gesture to a healing world, “A Song to Get Us Through” examines pain and the lengths we’ll go to get away from it – often with our finding that the best remedies were right in front of us all along. Simply put? The dashing doctor of modern pop/rock is in, and he’s prescribing strong melodic medicine to get us into the future the right way.
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“A Song to Get Us Through” boasts a criminally understated groove, and it’s necessarily so because of Alexander’s need to make the harmony-born fireworks the main attraction at all times. He doesn’t want us getting hung up on one angle of this single over another, and while this ends up leaving him with a finite amount of wiggle room between the bassline and the drums, he’s able to exploit this very feature boldly (and thus make his lyrics a little more tangible to the listener). You can’t beat the natural feel of these guitar parts, nor the clean manner in which they were produced to complement the strength of the percussion and piano in the background, and if you’d told me I would be saying as much in a song as centered on lead vocals as this one is just a week ago, I likely would have called you a fool.
I’m probably not the first music journalist to write this about the one and only Rob Alexander, but I still feel like it’s worth noting that soft rock has a true savior in both his artistry and the music it has given us in his career so far. Dream Out Loud proves that he can take this sound in any direction he wants as long as he stays in-tune with his vocal skills (which he has flawlessly in “A Song to Get Us Through”), and I don’t think it’s unfair to say it should leave his contemporaries a little envious and eager to one-up the accomplishment in the months ahead. This man is never finished refining and growing as a musician, and it is for this reason that I think he’s become so comfortable with his identity and sound.
“A Song to Get Us Through” lives up to its title, and I can’t say that about too many singles out at the moment.