Rob Alexander has been a busy guy. When not working as a physician anesthesiologist in South Florida, he has been busy crafting well-made pop albums. His first album, 2018's Long Road Coming Home, featured five singles and much praise from critics. Now, he is back with Being Myself, a 15-song collection of well-written tunes that sound like old, familiar friends.
Alexander's music is the sort of pop that dominated the charts from the 1970s until the 1990s. His voice bears a strong resemblance to that of Elton John's and, indeed there are three current members of John's touring band on Being Myself, along with past and present members of Frankie Valli's group. While it is impossible not to make the connection to John, the songs are not derivative and the hooks and melodies are top notch throughout.
The album opens with "This Hollywood Road," a bouncy track with crisp drums and ringing guitars. Alexander's voice is rich and the song's chorus is big and melodic, establishing the tone for the album early on. The title track follows and is more of the same with its memorable chorus. Here Kim Bullard from John's band layers keyboards almost like a horn section for the song's memorable intro.
Bullard repeats the trick on "We Own This Town Tonight," a fun, up-tempo rocker with a punky guitar intro while "Life As We Know It" has Alexander in his wheelhouse with killer hooks and melodies. Alexander pays tribute to a friend who passed away on "Never Gonna Let You Go," a heartfelt ballad punctuated by Rick Keller's sax. One can feel the sense of loss in Alexander's voice here.
On "Friend Of Mine (Elton's Epic)," Alexander acknowledges his John influence to the fullest, paying tribute to the great artist both musically and lyrically while offering a bit of a Latin twist. Good stuff. "Fed Up" finds Alexander going for a grittier approach in his vocals, lyrics and music. The bluesy track offers a nice contrast to the epic ballads and perfect pop.
With such great musicians backing Alexander, it would be a shame not to let them shine and they get their opportunity on "I-O-U," a funky workout that finds the band locked into a tight groove musically. The album closes with the strong power pop of "Loved By You," finishing the album on a high note.
Alexander's gift for strong melodies and well-crafted tunes is apparent all over Being Myself. The songs feel like old, familiar hits, rather than new tunes. With a crack band and strong vocals throughout, Being Myself is no sophomore slump for this talented artist.