Alan Dreezer’s return this year brings a sensational collection of considerately crafted, electro-pop songs, arranged in a manner that makes for a very classic, album-listening session – reminiscent of the CD-buying days of the nineties; the excitement of a full project, the effort and interconnectedness showcased throughout. This release has been a long time coming and many of the songs appear with the comforting familiarity of moments that shone across 2017.
London E12 is no quick capture, everything has been thoughtfully written and produced for the project, beginning with the scene-setting footsteps of Interlude and moving swiftly into the mood of the moment with Unknown – a song with a brilliantly smooth, nostalgic melody-line. You remember the Dreezer sound from his earlier releases, as well as enjoying the personal touch within the writing – the honesty, the self-reflection.
We Have Come A Long Way is a song you’ll likely recall for its title alone, but more prominently for that opening synth-wave, that retro dance beat, and of course, the singer’s voice and the softly infectious hook. Afterwards, To Do This marks a musical highlight and personal favourite. The soundscape is stunning, this delicately uplifting, psy-trance-like backdrop surrounds you, and the artist is on-hand with yet another brilliantly enjoyable and memorable melody-line. The evolution throughout is superb.
Now brings the mood further into the thoughtful, intimate side of the songwriter’s approach to music. The space in the opening verse enhances the emotion of the song, and of course – the hook – Alan Dreezer knows how to write songs that both connect and weave their way into your life like any well-known ear-worm.
Making sure to keep things fresh while keeping the thread alive, I Don’t Wanna Know offers up a unique beat, light and hopeful, great rhythm to everything involved, and as always – a brilliant hook. I’d be surprised if there’s not a pop or mainstream ‘hit’ somewhere on this album, the melodic progression in every case works exactly as you’d hope it would. This song in particular feels a little like a long lost number-one from a couple of decades back. At the same time, Dreezer offers a part of himself, his truth, consistently within the story-line – something so many listeners will appreciate.
Tornado made for a welcomed reminder of the late George Michael for me, Alan’s voice and this particular chorus section bring that sort of enjoyable nostalgia through. When I Was Alone mixes things up a little more, the audio-play crafts an unusual soundscape, the melody seems more experimental, short yet unexpectedly meandering. The ideas provoke a level of personal thought and reflection.
Bringing the all important melancholy to the stage – at this point in the album it works to recapture any wandering attention – Running To Stay emerges with a wash of strings, a heartbroken piano, and a melody and subject matter relevantly tied to the mood. The production is impressive, the song is more spacious and initially seems more minimalist than the rest, but it sweeps you off your feet as it moves along. The concept is that of drastic change, taking steps forward, and as the track progresses it does indeed seem like a shedding of the past – a move in a bold new direction. This was another personal highlight, unique and fascinating to consider.
331 holds tight to the melancholy and drives with another powerful piano part. The lyrics are more literal and descriptive, the scene-setting is detailed and captivating. You get a lot closer to the singer or at-least the leading character of this piece, which works well in bridging the gap between audience and artist.
If This Is The End appropriately marks the approach of the finish-line. A thick beat and alternating click begin the layering of multiple elements. The song is one of genuine personal turmoil, an attempt to deal with loss and regret; an attempt to continue. It’s a heartfelt piece that really reaches out in a personal yet accessible way to all who’ve had similar experiences, particularly those who have incomparably lost a parent.
This latter half of the album is far less dance-driven than the first, these feel like the ballads, the emotional moments of revelation and realness. Not that the ideas vary so much throughout, more the musical aspects, though you do seem to get a little more insight during these final moments. If This Is The End will be the next single from the project and comes out on July 4th.
The album in full outlines the songwriter’s true nature and abilities as a creative. The production, as suggested, is always on point – and what a collection of choruses. There’s so much potential for collaboration and remix throughout London E12. A well-played and consistently enjoyable release from Alan Dreezer. Out on July 10th.