New album out from Alex Lopez titled Rising Up
Alex Lopez’s Rising Up is about a lot of things. Sure, it’s about having a good time, but it’s also about never allowing life to break you down, it’s about remaining undefeated even in the darkest of moments. The “narrators” behind the album’s eleven tracks have known hard times, but find redemption in love, in moving on, and even in the old adage that living well is the best revenge. The first track “Light It Up” lays it out clear for listeners. Lopez’s typical MO is mixing hard as nails riffs with biting lead guitar supported by strong drumming and that’s the case here. His vocals seize on each word with zest and it gives his vocals a combustible quality that comes to full fruition with the song’s chorus.
“Rising Up” is an undeniable gem. His ability to stretch out his lead work, filling every possible space during the song, yet never overplaying is the mark of a superior musician, but the drumming and bass playing provides him with the forum to make that real. Don’t get this wrong – Alex Lopez’s creativity and musical skills may be highlighted in songs such as this and others, but he never hogs the spotlight and clearly enjoys playing with a band rather than having it all put on him to make the songs work. “Even Up the Score” has more attitude than any other track besides the title song. Lopez never takes that attitude too far, however, and opts for a balanced approach to the song that makes it rugged, yet entertaining. The tempo shift near the song’s conclusion drops some spice into the mix and shows off the band’s instrumental prowess.
Watch the video for “Paradise” the first single off of Rising Up
“Anymore” is a strong mid-tempo rocker that has some subtle singer/songwriter moments embedded within. No one will ever mistake Lopez for attempting to remake the songwriting wheel with tracks like this, but he has the unbowed courage to embrace vulnerability in his art rather than maintaining any sort of distance between him and the listener. Hammond organ duels with romping percussion, spot on bass work, and funky guitar work during “Blues In my Groove”. There’s no denying that he latches onto a memorable groove with this track and his vocals are playful yet takes hitting the same level of excellence shared by the other ten songs quite seriously. Lopez never coasts on Rising Up or takes a song off. He’s in the ON position from beginning to end.
There’s more Hammond heard during the brisk “Falling” and the upbeat pace shows his musical imagination undimmed even late in the release. The Xpress is a crack band, no doubt of that, and they grab listeners by the figurative collar from the outset and don’t let go. Lopez and his band mates wrap the album up with the guitar driven love song “Smile” and its steady but inexorable pace will hold your attention from first note to last. Rising Up may cover familiar territory but does so with signature style that you won’t soon forget.