Being Myself Works Unequivocally on Rob Alexander’s Latest Album
By day, Rob Alexander is a mild mannered physician anesthesiologist in South Florida, much like any other. But after the last patient’s been prepared, the clock is punched out, and night falls or the weekend looms, he becomes something altogether more. The medical equipment and garb gets exchanged for musical instruments and, as his latest album reveals, Alexander wastes no opportunities for Being Myself.
The late 2019 release of Alexander’s 15-track Long Player solidifies his standing as a true musician. The cast of characters on this project alone is worth the price of admission. Produced entirely by drummer/keyboardist Gabe Lopez, Alexander enlists a pair of Elton John’s band members, Robbie Angelucci and Kevin Taylor, on acoustic/electric guitars and acoustic guitar, respectively. Matt Bissonette works wonders on the bass, Kim Bullard tickles the keys, John Mahon masters the percussion and drums, while Rick Keller and Brian Brigham handle the saxophone and background vocals, respectively.
There’s simply no overlooking Alexander’s band on Myself, which imbues the project with a degree of aural sophistication worthy of some of the biggest names in the business. It’s hard to listen to the guitars on “We Own This Town Tonight” without evoking memories of some of Prince’s finer work. However, the timing of the drumming during transitions, the efficacy of the songwriting as it crescendos again and again, and Alexander’s own outbursts of ‘whoa oh’ make this number work—as this admixture does consistently for the duration of the collection.
Bissonette, however, threatens to steal the show on the opening tune, “This Hollywood”. It’s not just that the bass line combines a hard hitting groove with the deft nuance characteristic of the sheer might of electric bass. But it also provides the foundation for the ensuing chords and keyboards which really spring into action on the hook. Whereas Lopez deserves credit for pulling off the production, the songwriting on display does as well as the tune builds to heights, drops back down, then takes the listener there again—in a completely different way.
This degree of musicianship isn’t easily come by, particularly in today’s generation of laptop producers. It illustrates that Alexander and his crew know exactly what they’re doing, which way to go, and how to propel music forward in a manner in which it fulfills its role as an art form and, one of the most cogent, at that.