Thursday, June 25, 2015

MP3 Review: Alexa Melo "Alexa Melo LP"

I've been listening to this Alexa Melo album a lot.   I've only had the stream on it from Sound Cloud, but I had a private stream before the release to listen to and as much as I can stress the physical media side of things (Especially my love of cassettes) I did enjoy having this with me wherever I should choose to go.    Whether I was sitting on my laptop in my living room with it open in a Google Chrome window or giving my son a bath or not at home at all and had it playing from an open page in Safari.   I feel like, in some ways, these past few months or so I've been listening to Alexa Melo she's sort of become a part of me, her songs interlaced with my life.   It's almost like carrying around this album of hers with me has helped her to become a part of my life even though she's never met me or probably had any contact with me even in a digital way before.

But that also is just the essence of this music.   Alexa Melo sheds her skin.   She pulls back the layers and just bares her soul for you on this album.    I always look for themes in music because the best albums tend to have them.   if you just went through a horrible break up the odds are good that your next album will be rather pissed off.   And so with these songs it does have that wrath of a woman scorned, but I'm still not certain whether to consider this as a sign of anger or one of moving on, of overcoming.   Perhaps it is simply a mix of both with the latter taking true hold and as in life that is simply the way that it should be.

The sound of Alexa Melo is one that can only be described by comparing it with everything I've ever listened to before.   At some point in time I decided I needed more points of reference for female fronted music than I had and I began listening to it almost exclusively for a while.    This album just combines all of those influences that I've fallen in love with and really just everything which is good about music in general from the past thirty or forty years.   It's pop on the surface but isn't afraid to cross into that synth pop/dance type of feel either.   A song such as "Bleach" can just let loose a killer guitar riff while at other times she just belts it out.    There is a lot of depth to these songs, a lot of soul.

With elements of Polly Scattergood I can also hear Gwen Stefani at times (from her No Doubt days, not solo stint) as well as Macy Gray in context.   The song "Demoted" has that sort of PJ Harvey/Garbage feel to it of industrial/electronica with drum machines and she just pours it out.  Later on then "My Ex" brings out more of the country-soul vibe which can be compared with Reba, Tracy Chapman and Melissa Etheridge even.    "Call This Love" is a building piano ballad and overall I just think of these songs as going both of the ways that I imagine the majority of female performers.    That is to say, Alexa Melo could just as easily find herself in a dimly lit, smoke-filled jazz night club in the wee hours of the morning, or perhaps a slightly more upscale joint atop a grand piano, or she could have that huge stage presence of a Lady Gaga or Katy Perry.   It's entirely up to her and how she chooses to present herself live.

That idea of her music just being so versitile- just really without limits- coupled with the notion that it embraces everything which I love about music at the same time is what makes this just a superb display of what every album ever created should strive to be but only few will be able to achieve.