Republished from The Maneater
Attention fans of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros: there is good news and there is bad news. The bad news: That is not Edward Sharpe. His real name is Alex Ebert. The (potentially) good news: He has a new album.
The self-titled LP released under the pseudonym Alexander is in the same vein as Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros’ debut, Up From Below. It’s playful, breezy and, to borrow a song off that record, “Janglin.” Ebert’s strength has always been with his rhythmic promiscuity, and this is embodied in “Truth.” Alexander has a beautifully canted delivery in the verses – the clarinet adds some janglin’ spice. Ebert likes to play around, and on “Awake My Body,” he plays chef with some good ol’ Italian pizza parlor swag.
Unfortunately, the album’s playfulness never really seems to amount to much. As the lackadaisical closer pleads, “Let’s make a deal to not make a deal,” it becomes pretty clear Ebert seems to be fine with not committing to anything.
As the 41 minutes drag on, a question begins to form: Why did Alex Ebert make this album? Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros seemed to be growing a strong following with singles like “Home” and “40 Day Dream,” so why do a solo side project now?
That question remains unanswered. With tame but existent melodies, this is an album one could potentially grow fond of after 20 or so listens, simply because it is a very happy listen. However, there is a distinct difference between an album that needs 20 listens and an album that deserves it. Alexander clearly falls in the former category.