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A percussive synth harmony seeps into the air like a thick fog, and before we know it we’re surrounded by providential sounds that are larger than life yet delivered unto us subtly. A palm muted guitar is barely audible but ominously wanders the outskirts of the synth, which is slowly getting bigger as we drift towards Rob Alexander’s exuberant vocal. His latest single “Long Road Coming Home” starts off patiently, but it doesn’t take very long for it to come undone from the gravity of Alexander’s rousing musicianship. “I find a gift to give you every day, and never look back at the years in between” he serenades, each word dripping with a honey-like melodicism that is instantly recognizable as unique and exclusive to his brand of adult contemporary pop alone.
With a kick of the drums, Alexander plainly informs us that though this road of life that we’re all traveling together is tough as nails and never getting any shorter than it is today, we’re going to have to press on if we have any hope of realizing who we really are when we’re at our most exposed. Home is where the heart is, and he’s willing to take us there if it means we all get a little closer together in the end. His voice echoes off of the percussion and melodies that are swirling relentlessly in the foreground, and it’s all too easy for us to get hypnotized by the harmony that is being conjured in the beautiful chaos that we’re witnessing firsthand.
Everything almost comes apart as we shift into the next stanza, but Alexander makes sure to reel us in from the fire before we get burned by the flames. Every note in “Long Road Coming Home” has its place, and even when the song starts to rock in the second chorus nothing ever escapes from where it was intended to sit. Rob Alexander is a very meticulous composer, and so far I haven’t found any of his music to be shapeless or off the wall in the least. As much as people say that today’s pop music fan demands elaborate songwriting that incorporates as many savage accents and twisted overdubs as possible, there’s something really satisfying about listening to a song like this one, which relies only on its self-conscious lyrics and literate textures to make fans fall in love with its grandeur.
“Long Road Coming Home” concludes in operatic fashion, fading into the ethers in a tizzy of bluesy guitar, symphonic synths and closing lyrics sung to us in a half-whisper. Devoid of the malevolent self-centeredness of the average pop single and packed with powerful melodies, ornate verses and a playful harmony that demands a reaction out of anyone within earshot, the fourth single from Rob Alexander’s debut album of the same name is yet another graceful effort from the Florida-based singer/songwriter, who is turning out to be one of 2018’s hidden treasures. Music enthusiasts who crave the soft rocking sway of traditional piano pop with the edge of modern adult contemporary would do well to give this song a spin.
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