The quality gap between indie songwriters and mainstream players has seemingly never been wider than it is today in 2020, and when listening to Rob Alexander’s new single “Life As We Know It,” it’s difficult to deny the truth behind the aforementioned statement. Rob Alexander has been working the underground circuit as a premier adult contemporary artist for a few years now, having scored a couple of critical hits with his albums Long Road Coming Home and the 2019 breakout Being Myself, and in this third single from the latter effort, he isn’t shying away from the sort of ambitiousness that stardom is made of.
Though Elton John is clearly one of this artist’s biggest influences (and three members of his touring band play on this track), there’s nothing about “Life As We Know It” that sounds like an homage to the old school. I can definitely see where fans of Elton would instantly feel swept away by the stylishness that a song like this is boasting – after all, the piano rock genre has been aching for some new heroes in the last few years – but as far as originality goes, there’s no accusing Rob Alexander of using watered-down material here at all.
The drums in “Life As We Know It” could have used a little more of a kick in the volume department, but their distinctive impact on the mood in this track is undeniable. The beat comes close to eclipsing the verse with its relevantly evocative swing, but despite the aesthetical dueling they engage in, the mix here is so tight that we’re never pressed to focus on either element more than we are the other. That’s not easy for any producer to pull off, let alone an artist who isn’t playing with major label money.
After getting hooked on this song and the others that are found on Rob Alexander’s Being Myself LP, I can’t wait to hear what this guy sounds like when he’s on stage. “Life As We Know It” is absolutely one of the flashier attention-getters on the album, but when consumed alongside all of the material that the record has to share with us, it feels like a mere piece of a much grander puzzle that needs a crowded venue full of eager concertgoers to be properly assembled and appreciated. Alexander has an “it” factor that can only be captured so much in the studio, and I for one am very excited at the idea of seeing it play out in the flesh.
I’ve been hearing about this singer/songwriter for a while now, and I must say that what he’s recorded in “Life As We Know It” and Being Myself definitely lives up to the hype and then some. Rob Alexander doesn’t hold back when he approaches the microphone in this single, and if the charming personality he exhibits here is something he can put into all of his music moving forward, there should be no doubt in any critic’s mind as to his future in this business.
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