Alex Bloom - Blue Room

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:9 Release Date:2017-12-08
Alex Bloom - Blue Room
Alex Bloom - Blue Room

Since the late Sixties, when an artist starts announcing their new album or a piece of music, they might often be heard saying that they were “influenced by The Beatles and The Beach Boys”. This has become something of a classic rock cliche. In most cases, this would usually mean one of two things - a cheap and unconvincing imitation of those artists, or simply cheap music in general. Rarely would you get something that builds on the legacy of these two groups or at least something that is at least a very listenable incorporation of The Beatles or The Beach Boys sounds in the artists' music. There are exceptions, but that would mean that you would have the music of these two giants infused in your brain cells and that you are coming up with something that is at least an interpretation or a variation on the sound, and in the best case, music that tries to add something of original to something that is more or less impeccable.

The reason behind this long and winding (road) introduction is the skepticism one has when they see that a young artist who has barely done his musical schooling announces that his debut album is “influenced by The Beatles and The Beach Boys”. Case in point - Alex Bloom, the (very) young graduate of University of Southern California’s Thorton School of Music, just coming up with his debut album Blue Room, something that seems to be a sort of graduation project. Just the mention of those bands as influences and you can’t resist listening.

Lo and behold, there should have been no room for skepticism with Alex and his recording friends! The moment the opener to the album “Eyes In The Back of Her Head” starts, you realize that the guy has been so infused with the music that has inspired him, that he has started to turn it into some sort of musical metalanguage. Bloom has picked so many elements from both sources he cites and has made them practically his own. Even lthough in songs like “Change Your Mind” and “One More Shot” you can certainly recognize where he’s coming from, they manage to sound like something quite his own. And although the quality of production tells you this album is of a more modern origin, the music Bloom created sounds like it could have come anywhere between 1967 - 2017, and that is a distinct quality that is hard to achieve. That has partly to do with the fact that you can hear influences beyond The Beatles or The Beach Boys. For instance, Harry Nilsson (“One For Me”) or Jim James (“Sunrise”), also from rock’s prime time span. Even though the album is concluded with a very similar sounding title - "Something", it actually proves a point. It is a gentle ballad, but it actually has its own, different melody and sound. A fitting conclusion.

Blue Room joins the new wave of quality young melody/harmony purveyors (Lemon Twigs, anyone?) that can bring something of their own to a sound that is very hard to improve upon. This young guy does good.

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