Alex Ebert – Alexander
Rating: 7 out of 10 Tracy Morgans
After hearing initial leaks from Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeroes’ frontman Alex Ebert, it was tough to tell where these tracks would actually land. In fact, they sounded almost just like the group’s break thru album. This isn’t necessarily a bad attribute, but if you are going to create a messiah-like alter ego, using that same style on your solo debut is kind of confusing.
Turns out those tracks would form Alexander, a proper EP nearly two years after the Edward Sharpe album. And while its not exactly growth by Mr. Ebert, he continues to do what he is very good at: eccentric, ’60s inspired folk music that showcases his unique spirit and voice. “Let’s Win” is a rhythmic anthem that name-checks a number of war torn countries in what I interpret as Ebert’s suggestion at peace. “A Million Years” is a midtempo charmer that shines like “Home” without Jade Castrino’s banter. Forewarning, I’m pretty enamored by this song. So much so, that if you’re attending my wedding this Fall, its likely you’ll hearing this track at some point during the event. Ebert’s half warbling/half yodeling voice is definitely tailored for tracks like “Glimpses” and “Remember My Heart”. A traditional singer could pull these feats off, but it just wouldn’t have the same effect.
When Ebert does branch out of his comfort zone, the results are somewhat mixed. “Truth” is paranoid folk story with rap tendencies, somewhat reminiscent of Matisyahu but less polished. The only real misstep is “Let’s Make A Deal To Not Make A Deal” in what is mostly annoying, but will satisfy those interested in the eukelele craze in indie music right now.
Alexander does showcases how talented Alex Ebert is at crafting 1960s-inspired pop music. “A Million Years” and “Lets Win” are certainly examples of why. This release mostly leaves listeners yearning for Ebert to get back in the lab for the next Edward Sharpe effort.
Alexander by AlexanderEbert
Pick-up Alexander on Amazon here.