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Alexa Ray Joel - Sketches Review

by Gary Schwind

In the liner notes of this six song EP, Alexa explains that this album is a refreshing take on recorded music. These songs were recorded in two days and some were not edited at all. I can tell you it certainly is refreshing, not just to hear music that hasn't been over-manipulated, but also to hear a young female vocalist who doesn't feel she needs to strain her voice to show what a big range she has. You know, like all those American Idol wannabes. This EP shows that Alexa trusts her vocals. And she should. Her voice is naturally good and strong. Oh, and her piano chops are pretty good too as you would expect from someone who learned from The Piano Man.

This EP contains five songs written by Alexa and one ("Don't Let It Bring You Down") written by Neil Young. From the sort of jazzy pop sounds of "The Heart of Me" and "Song of Yesterday" to the somewhat funky "Now It's Gone" to the anger and alienation of "The Revoultion Song," Alexa shows she can cover the bases easily.

Alexa is right in the liner notes. This is a refreshing collection of songs. In just six songs and twenty-three minutes, she shows her talent as a pianist, vocalist and songwriter, and she does it all without the usual recording smoke and mirrors. I expect a lot more good music from her.

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Alexa Ray Joel - Sketches


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