Few genres in the American pop lexicon can evoke as much emotion out of its listeners as the blues do. As integral an element in our national artistic history as the very instruments that it would need to make its most profound creative statements, the blues have arguably never been as important to the identity of traditional Americana as they are today, and in Alex Lopez’s Yours Truly, Me…, audiences are invited to see what the genre can produce when it’s in the hands of a deeply gifted musician whose passion lies in making beautiful music for an often sad and lonesome world.
You can just feel the love that Lopez has for his medium in songs like “I’m a Working Man,” “Woe Is Me” and “Sinful,” and whether he’s going electric or acoustic in Yours Truly, Me…, his heart is always on his sleeve and available to us no matter how long we’ve been listening to his work. He’s got nothing to hide from us in this record, and I would even suggest that he’s doing everything within his power to make sure that we know just how far he’s putting himself out there for us in these compositions.
Lopez’s vocal is both confident and resigned in “I Will Miss You” and “Chase My Blues Away,” emotive and angst-ridden in “I Love You Blues (Redux),” “I’m a Losing It (Redux)” and “All I Really Want Is You,” and more than anything else, both relatable and unapologetically human throughout the whole of this tracklist. He never draws from the well of predictability, and there are even songs (like the “Tush” cover) where he’s able to incorporate a little bit of humility and self-awareness into music that most of us have already heard before in at least one incarnation or another.
“Take Me Back Home (Redux),” “Sinful” and “I Can’t Stop (Redux)” are, in my opinion at least, some of the best and most intrepidly stylish tracks that Alex Lopez has allowed to share the same record in his career so far, and it’s not ironic that each of these three songs challenge him to push his compositional skillset as far towards the brink as he can. He never neglects a hook or stamps out a good beat in the name of avant-gardism, but to say that he’s getting a bit zanier as he ages alongside his music would be too significant an understatement for any critic to make.
After taking a closer look at his complete discography than I had before this week, I came to the conclusion that Alex Lopez’s new album isn’t just his meatiest – it’s also his most enduringly appealing. This is a record that wasn’t made for blues fiends exclusively, but for listeners that have been craving something a little more groove-oriented than what the mainstream pop sound has been giving us lately. Fans who were however hoping to hear a watershed of an independent blues LP won’t be disappointed by this tracklist, but make no mistake about it; Yours Truly, Me… is a worthwhile record for anyone and everyone who likes to swing.
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