Monday, 3 February 2014

ALEX KUMAR - ALBUM REVIEW

Alex Kumar - Alex Kumar
Alex Kumar - Alex Kumar

Well here's a conundrum. Alex Kumar looks like a young Hollywood film star, sounds like weathered Blues singer and comes from just outside the city of Exeter, UK. More confusingly, he might be an acoustic singer-songwriter but he's not churning out over-earnest, romantic tripe that sounds like a Blue song without the high stools. No, what young Alex is doing is creating beautifully fragile Blues Folk songs with delicate finger picking and vocals that exist just on the divide between tuneful and pure emotion. Kicking off with the wistful '1963 [Radio Edit]' wherein Alex sings of his regret that he can't jam with Dylan in his prime and live during those times of enormous change - let's face it, we've all had that thought after watching a particularly good music documentary right? Now 'St. James Infirmary Blues' might not be the catchiest title in the world but this is where Kumar starts to really flex his Blues muscles and you can just picture sat on a stoop, hat pulled low and beaten up guitar being twanged across his dusty knees.

Kumar's vocals are truly unique and this is particularly evident on 'I Just Received The News' and the strangely uplifting 'Love (Or The Next Best Thing)' as he strains and croons but always manages to hold on to the melody with wavering in a way Frank Turner never quite achieves. There is a real wild west meets Brother & Bones feel to 'If I Went Blind' while 'Long Time Man (Feel Bad)' is a ballad that the you could hear coming out of a saloon bar in a lonely, debt ridden mining town somewhere in the old mid west. The love song that is 'Pretty Peggy-O' drifts weightlessly through the air like a dandelion on a summer's breeze but then 'Me And The Devil' has more of a swagger and glint about it as Kumar channels the Blues so perfectly you would never guess this guy lives in rural Devon. The album finishes up with a more lengthy version of '1963' but this is really only the sprinkles on the cherry on the icing on the cake which young Alex has already baked. I urge you to check this kid out and if you catch him live then check his ID before you buy him a whisky - he looks impossibly young.



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