Introducing the third full-length album from established songwriter Rob Alexander, Dream Out Loud features a musically impressive line-up with current members of Elton John’s band – including Davey Johnstone (guitar), Matt Bissonette (bass), John Mahon (percussion), and Kim Bullard (keys).
Kicking into gear with that ever-recognisable voice and colourful musicality that is Rob Alexander, Yesterday’s News starts things up with brightness and a quickly infectious progression to the hook. Feeling a little more pop than raw organic at first, there’s a sense of genre taking a back-seat to song writing – a quality that rings true throughout this eclectic and consistently engaging album.
The title-track already sees things switch gears, welcoming a stylish guitar riff and a brilliantly immersive, addictive bounce of a funk-style rhythm. The underlying concept shines brightly, with simple melodies and a deeply personal outpouring that connects for its vulnerability and honesty alike. An early highlight.
Other stand-outs include the retro bass warmth of a soulful and seductive Instant Sex, and indeed the album’s first single release A Song To Get Us Through. The latter is a piano-led ballad that emerges just in time to mellow things out and keep the playlist versatile and the arrangement interesting. This one feels like a brilliantly relevant hit of realism and optimism united – perfect for these trying times we’ve been facing.
Nothing To Be Afraid Of Now is a big-band favourite with another hit of welcomed positive energy and brightness. Love Will Find You is something of a Bond-ready, slow and smooth outpouring, with a satisfying drop and resolve for the hook. Angel and Johnny also stands out for its Elton-style scene-setting and the progression from simple Americana to boldness and energy.
There’s also the cinematic swagger and stylish riff-led confidence of Hot Potato, another show of eclecticism musically, and the inescapably catchy hit that is Kings and Queens – not to mention the anthem-like power and equal character of a closing Game Over. In reality though, this entire album is a beautifully unexpected arrangement of stories and musical prowess. Mighty vocals, superb melodies, and a consistently interesting array of musicianship. An easy must for the new year.