Rob Alexander drops new Single
Adult contemporary is at a major crossroads right now, and a creative division is being struck between those who fit in more with the pop music crowd and those who owe too much to the R&B tradition to be splintered from the labeling. Somewhere in between the two, Rob Alexander is straddling the lines of scene politics in his new single “Never Gonna Let You Go” and, in all actuality, his latest album Being Myself as well. You won’t be able to locate any rigidities in “Never Gonna Let You Go,” mostly because there just aren’t any – Alexander skews pop harmonies with R&B-style lyrics that are difficult to categorize as it is, even without the experimental edge on the mix. The rules don’t matter to him, nor should they, because at the end of the day what really makes an efficient pop song sting as hard as a bumblebee has little to do with aesthetics and everything to do with execution, which is what Rob Alexander arguably does better than almost anyone else in south Florida these days.
It would be really fascinating to hear a stripped-down version of “Never Gonna Let You Go,” if for no other reason than to confirm what I’ve long suspected – that the core of any song this man writes is, more often than not, his lead vocal. Every other element within the instrumentation could be changed, from the piano to the bass and right back to the drums, as long as Alexander’s singing was left as-is in the grander scheme of things, which isn’t just saying something about his abilities as a vocalist, but also his skillful mastery of a pop lyric delivery.
His younger rivals could definitely stand to learn a lot from the self-control that he shows off in this latest release, which stops just shy of being conservative in tone but definitely sets itself apart from the more liberally-arranged a/c songs out this autumn. To some degree, “Never Gonna Let You Go” is the most complete single he’s ever recorded, and to another, it feels like only a fragment of a much larger story still being told to us through his ongoing dispatches.
I was only somewhat familiar with Rob Alexander’s work before getting ahold of Being Myself at the behest of a close colleague in music, but I’m going to be exploring his music a lot more now. “Never Gonna Let You Go” tells the world a lot about who Alexander is and what he wants his music to represent at this stage of the game, but I’m not convinced that it’s some sort of conclusion to anything that he’s trying to achieve from a creative perspective. He’s nowhere near the end of his campaign, and it wouldn’t shock me if he waited a bit before returning to the studio to make a follow-up to this new release. There’s no need to rush perfection; if the history of pop music has taught us anything about the present (and, for that matter, the future), it’s that a songwriter like Rob Alexander deserves space and time to develop what is unquestionably an incredibly special gift.