Milwaukee Artist of the Week – 2/20/2015 – B. Alxndr
This week’s Milwaukee Artist of the Week is B. Alxndr, an emcee with an EP that blends hip hop and R&B into an EP with a story to tell. His latest “Memoirs of a Broken Heart” was released last October, and in doing so, it helped get his name out to the world. This is a project that is beyond the traditional, and a smart way for an artist to make an introduction.
The EP begins with an interesting choice, introducing the narrative that is about to unfold. “Love Song” is B. Alxndr’s chance to spit over 311’s cover of The Cure, and a unique take on a unique take on the original. While this is sometimes risky for artists to do on a project, he manages to pull it off, with quality editing and mastering of the original track, and his verses complimenting 311’s version of the song. This follows with “I Want You”, a combination R&B/hip hop record featuring Kal’L. By this point in the EP, it’s safe to assume that B. Alxndr has taken the time to craft a project around a consistent theme, and has done so well.
“Stay With Me” is where the emotions change. Much like in a relationship turned sour, this track represents the initial, off the cuff frustrations with where things are headed. More vocal compliments come in the form of features by Jonathan M Law and Jackie B. There’s a solid balance on this project; no one feature is overused, and that speaks a lot about everyone involved. Many times, artists try to utilize a feature in songs to get the most out of them, and it can sound forced at times. This is the opposite of that. The right features come in at the right times, and it adds to the narrative of the EP.
The frustrations take a turn for the worse on “No Feedback”, as you get to hear a more up-tempo track about a couple with a communication problem. B.Alxndr gets the chance to not only switch up the flow on this track, but the momentum of the EP, as well. The frustrations turn to anger on “Dear Love”, a well written track about how to take things as they come. The song is another chance to show off the diversity of styles as an artist, while moving the story forward. Intertwined in all of this are several phone call interludes that help clarify things.
“Leave Me (Part 2)” starts to bring the EP home, and sort of represents the calm after the storm. In essence, this is B. Alxnder turning the page, and moving on post-breakup. The project comes to a close on “Superstar”, an uplifting track that sets everything straight, but leaves the door in the sense that everything isn’t completely great after the drama played out in the previous tracks. All in all, it brings things to a close, and there’s definitely a cohesive story that plays out as the EP goes on.
Writing any sort of musical project with a narrative from start to finish isn’t an easy task. That is partially why you don’t see as many concept albums in today’s musical landscape. However, “Memoirs of a Broken Heart” is done well, and should help propel B. Alxndr’s name in Milwaukee and elsewhere. Check out the project below: