CD REVIEW: On My Own by Lexie Rose
Photo Credit: Sarvey T Rector
Since first debuting her music to the masses at the age of thirteen, Lexie Rose has been attracting attention from a variety of movers and shakers in the music world thanks to her talent for delivering personal, yet relatable, material that went far beyond her years. Her EP On My Own, produced by Max Allyn, reflects her continued growth and the influences of songwriters and performers like Elliot Smith, Radiohead, and Fiona Apple while still retaining a passionately individualistic edge far exceeding the range of her many contemporaries. One shouldn’t toss the term prodigy around lightly, but Rose is deserving of the term as anyone. Her dedication to producing her own material, melodic strengths, and substantive lyrical content set her apart from more veteran performers and, when you take her age into account, it makes her stand out even more. These are, likewise, clearly songs that will really come alive for a live audience and Rose definitely has the vocal chops to help realize the potential of the material.
The plaintive and crystalline acoustic guitar strains opening the EP on “20 Weeks” represents one of the release’s finest instrumental moments. It impressively straddles a line between top shelf pop and a singer/songwriter sensibility and has an interesting accent pervading the tune thanks to its percussion. Rose’s voice proves to be more than up for the task of getting the song over with listeners without ever risking self indulgence. The spartan introduction of “Join Me” provides scant hint of the atmospherics to come as it moves from a rather bare bones folky sort of number into a much more theatrically minded tune. The arrangement is every bit as much the “star” of this song as is Rose’s vocal, but it’s impossible to separate the two as tremendous suggestiveness comes off this tune. The orchestrated, near electronic quality underpinning her music becomes more pronounced on the EP’s mid way point track “Wrong” and the EP’s emphasis on presenting strong vocals becomes even clearer as well.
Fiona Apple’s influence comes across rather strongly during parts of the track “That’s Why”, but the similarities are never so clear or lain on so thick that it feels imitative. The pop playfulness balanced against the artier aspects isn’t something you often hear from Apple, however, and so this is a far more accessible number on the surface. “On My Own” is the EP’s most intense and deeply felt moment on a release filled with them and the imaginative arrangement is well served by Rose’s singing. The obvious care she takes on the earlier tunes comes across here as well and puts an emphatic exclamation point on the release as a whole. Lexie Rose’s On My Own conclusively proves its true – at seventeen years old, Lexie Rose is artistically on her own, never beholden to her influence, and blazing a memorable trail towards her future.
by Mindy McCall
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