Album Review :
Alexander the Great - Faces Change

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Artist: Alexander the Great
Album: Faces Change
Label: Crossroads of America Records
Release Date: May 19, 2009
Review by: Eric Pettersson

1. Home Alone in Central Park
2. Don’t You Forget It
3. Tree of Knowledge
4. Dusk
5. Postcard
6. Invisible Ink
7. Late Night Rockit’s
8. Cold Feet
9. Mapmaking Outlines
10. Cabin Fever
11. Arms
12. Jet Setting Jets

As someone who had already given a favorable review to Alexander the Great’s debut EP, I was quite interested to see what they would do with their first full-length album. To my delight, I found that Faces Change blows away Circumnavigation. The musicianship has improved incredibly, the melodies are tighter, the sound is more mature, and the band just seems more focused and more in control than the last time around.

Yes, it’s still the same indie rock band with their marbled vocals and jangly guitars. They keep both the upbeat sing-a-longs and the soft and thoughtful songs. It’s just that it’s all done a little better now, showing the development that should be expected between releases. If there is a directional change, I’d say it’s that there’s more energy on this record as well as more intricately layered guitar work. A few songs add a synth, which works but isn’t necessary, and the upbeat songs also have a more danceable feel.

Lyrics deal with complex issues that reach into a variety of human experiences, not so much to teach a lesson but to convey a certain feeling or a certain moment. Many songs touch on the difficulty of distinguishing love from lust and the mess that this creates in relationships, such as the acoustic “Late Night Rockit’s” which asks “How many more drinks must you consume before you’re ready to finally love me too?” or the more rocking “Mapmaking Outlines” which talks about being “Out all night in the city, here to prove that we’re still living.”

Alexander the Great has progressed forward on Faces Change, showing the growth and maturity that normally takes two or three records to build. With words that are both poetic and easily-understood, this band paints pictures of real life situations over well-crafted music. It’s straight-forward enough for the average alternative rock fan to enjoy, but not accessible enough to be called anything other than indie rock. Fans should listen.

Overall: Alexander the Great move forward like their namesake, taking more ground than expected and showing acute skill and maturity in their delivery of these 12 indie rock tunes.

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Buy: Crossroads of America