Rob Alexander is known for his gilded pipes, but in the second single from his album Being Myself, titled “Friend of Mine (Elton’s Epic),” he shows that he can do a heck of a lot more than just sing a pretty tune. The chorus isn’t the only point of catharsis for us to take in here; if anything, it’s actually one of the mellower available to us. Through gentle movements of instrumentation and a solid harmony that follows his voice wherever he might take us, Rob Alexander will lead listeners on a journey to the melodic mecca in “Friend of Mine (Elton’s Epic)” that no one shall soon forget.
There’s not a lot of intensity to the rhythm here, but there’s an urgency to the players’ execution nevertheless. Alexander never pushes his band along; his words glide along in cadence with the grooves leaving just enough space between the bassline and the piano for both two have a distinct profile in the big picture. It’s a complicated way of making a spellbinding song even more hypnotic, but as anyone who loves Rob Alexander’s music is already well aware, there is no doing things the easy way when it comes to this guy’s work.
The harmonies are undisputedly the most important element in “Friend of Mine (Elton’s Epic),” and to some degree, everything in the track is built around their steady flow. The low-end tones flex to the beat of the drum without ever masking over the percussive textures, and while I might have given the vocal just a little bit more volume at the start of the song, I can understand why Alexander decided to go a different way. He wants to put tonality before tempered hooks here, which is something that requires a bit of courage on the part of a pop singer.
My favorite part of this single, bar-none, is the chorus. Alexander climbs his way into the center of the spotlight seemingly out of nowhere and belts out his verses as though his life depends on it, and though he’s never been one to shy away from the big moments like this one beforehand, there’s something all the more special about this particular fever pitch. It could be his admiration for Elton John, or it might just have something to do with the fact that he knows how ace a performance he’s turning in here.
Though he isn’t actually telling us anything that we already didn’t know about his sound, identity and artistry, Rob Alexander is putting on a show that no one can afford to miss out on this winter season in “Friend of Mine (Elton’s Epic),” which I personally view as the greatest standout from the Being Myself LP. Dr. Alexander has been one of the more important voices in the adult contemporary revival movement in the last two years, and if anyone thought that his position in the revolution was about to change in 2020, this should act as a refresher of why he’s gained the status he has in recent times.