Powerful voices set to heart-melting ballads are something that we all need from time to time.
Canadian singer-songwriter Alexz Johnson could well be North America’s answer to Adele with some beautiful retro folk-pop accents. With huge support from her fanbase who she managed to clinch due to some TV and film success when she was younger (including a role in Final Destination 3 and a stint in Smallville), Alexz has managed to fund her new EP, which is full of powerhouse pop tracks all sung from the bottom of her own heart.
It begins with ‘American Dreamer‘, which wastes no time in showing off Alexz’s clear pop vocal. A synth rises in the background and a country guitar whines intermittently. Quickly becoming clear that Alexz’s voice has the power to captivate you from just a minute or so, the song evolves into something that wouldn’t be out of place on a Paloma Faith album due to its quirky character and killer catchy hook of “come here, come here”. It is the kind of track that is played on radio stations everywhere and I wouldn’t be surprised if we start hearing it a lot more.
Despite its obviously downbeat subject matter, ‘This Is Heartache’ does its best to cheer us up. Retro pop electronica plays in the background while Alexz’s innocent vocal decorates funky clicks and shuffles of the backing track. It’s great for dancing the night away and is another commercially viable hit. The epic-sounding backing vocals add another more indie-folk dimension and Alexz performs some truly impressive vocal licks towards the crescendo.
‘Nothin’ On Me’ is where we see her bring the sass to the EP. A slow electronic riff and strong drums introduce her passionate vocal and the resonating backing vocals create a long-lasting base. There’s definitely an air of the confident showgirl in Alexz in the simple catchy rhythm and fighting chorus. Ringing synths and the return of the choir at the end ground it again, ready for the final ballad of the EP.
Ending on ‘Thank You For Breaking My Heart‘, Alexz acknowledges that relationships end but she turns heartache on its head in order to see the positive. A descending jazz piano and the slow sad tone of the choir suggests a big sob story about to happen but as the song evolves into a huge production, it becomes apparent that we’re to be left with a simple uplifting message -people will break your heart and hurt you but this is a must if we’re going to find our true happiness.
With a title like ‘Heart’, you have to expect huge personal songs full of passion and truth. Alexz certainly delivers on that front. If you’re a fan of soulful pop divas both old and new, then this is definitely an EP you should check out as it’s sure to touch your own heart. I’m certainly looking forward to my next fix of her beautiful voice!