It’s been a long time since Alex Clare released that banger of a Window’s advert containing his track ‘Too Close’. The singer/songwriter blew the heck up after that track because damn did that tune get things pumping. He combined a little Dubstep with a little acoustic and it worked really, really well. In fact so well, that Taylor Swift ended up copying his ideas later that year; Alex you pioneer you. But that track came out a whopping 5 years ago and if I’m honest, I haven’t heard his name since 2011… But he’s back! With a new track that came out earlier this week that I’m just finding now… So let’s dive into this review…
Ah this is a difficult one because Alex is clearly talented but his songs are so dry and soulless. The whole Dubstep/acoustic thing worked before because Dubstep was on fire globally, raking in millions of sales; now, Dubstep is merely a shell of it’s past. I just found the song a bit messy. The chorus had a hook that was poorly mixed, the lyrics were strong in parts and ever so weak in others, the song built to a middle-eighth that never really changed and then the track ended out of nowhere; it felt like it was unfinished and rushed.
Production wise, the track was fairly solid. The backing instrumentals sounded thick and scaled perfectly. On large speakers, the electronic vibe really kicked out and filled my room well; the producer deserves props for making electronica almost sound orchestral. The vocals however, were hit and miss throughout. I think the verses sounded much better than the chorus. Alex’s natural tone was brought in well during the verses and allowed some flexibility by the producer. But the chorus sounded woefully mixed, or rather, completely unmixed. I don’t know whether it was the pitch Alex was singing at or what, but his voice cut through the mix and sounded dry recorded; it might of been just me but I did find it incredibly noticeable.
The vocal performance is strong but I do feel Alex slips into monotone more often than not. Now I don’t mean that as him having a weak voice or not able to belt out big notes, but rather I found him delivering every note exactly the same. Notes which should of been delicate and subtle, were shouted out, notes which should of been shouted out, were shouted out, everything was shouted out. It just caused the vocal melody to disappear as he was accenting every note the exact same.
Lyrically, like I already touched upon, the song was a little cut and paste. A lot of insignificant lyrics were reused with no substance and there were parts that were a little too cheesy. I didn’t think the lyrics were that bad throughout, but there were notable instances of lyrics sounding a little forced and a little safe.
All in all the best advice I could give Alex is to reign it back. The Dubstep thing is old and dead now, and you still have a really good voice. With acoustic music being the biggest it’s ever been right now, I’d go down that route. He has the potential of being a huge acoustic star, but at the moment he comes off as a tacky Jack Garratt. Unfortunate really.
5/10 – Not the worst track I’ve heard this fortnight but there is nothing that I can highlight to say it is good either.