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CD REVIEW: Alex Lopez - Is It A Lie
By Cyrus Rhodes - 05/26/2015 - 06:03 PM EDT

Artist: Alex Lopez
Album: Is it a Lie
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Blues/Roots Rock
Sounds Like: Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Led Zep, Cream, Albert Collins, Foghat, The Yardbirds, Stevie Ray Vaughn
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Can’t Hide your Love, Sing the Blues, Company Man, Is it a Lie (Reprise)
Weakness: A few short sided songs
CD Review: (Cleveland, OH) Born in the heartland of Rock n Roll, this Cleveland Ohio area native started with organ lessons at the age of 8 and soon was playing keyboards at local church and school functions. Inspired by The Beatles and British blues/rock bands, Alex learned to play the guitar as a teen developing a style influenced by guitar greats Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix. While playing in local bands like Midnight Voyager and Sahara, Alex spent part of young adulthood recording original songs in small studios and polishing his songwriting skills. After moving to Florida to attend college, Alex played in local bands until his band at the time, Sahara, also relocated to Florida to rejoin him in pursuit of a music career. They had some modest success playing in Florida clubs with a few of Alex's original songs eventually receiving local airplay.

The CD wastes no time getting off the ground with “Can’t Hide Your Love”. This song serves up infectious rocked out retro musical ambience served up against mesmerizing vocals, hypnotic Rocked out guitar and driving rock rhythm that confidently leads you by the hand down the path of sizzling musical indulgence. Track 2 keeps things rocking with a slamming “Morning Blues”” This track delivers impressive Rockabilly guitar ambience meshed against rock steady rhythm and inviting melody making for a short and sweet statement. Track 3 “Sing the Blues” is an impressive ditty that is full of impressive vocal flair, and well placed solo guitar that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. By track 3 this CD hits solid stride delivering many impressive songs back to back. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Led Zep, Cream, Albert Collins. I can also hear a slight Foghat, Derek and the Dominos, The Yardbirds, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Chet Atkins, Stray Cats, Polecats, Batmobile, Hillbilly Hellcats, Reverend Horton Heat, Carl Perkins, The Quakes and The Meteors. I would classify this music as rocked out 50’s style swing, Rockabilly, Jam Band and classic Americana Rock popular back in the 70’s with a modern day sound that is electrifying. The CD at times presents a hooky grooving melodic ambience via a “short and sweet” musical flow that's so easy to groove to. Besides the four piece standard you will also notice rich layers of impressive Rhythm, Guitar, solo guitar, enticing melodies - all built on a thick as a brick rhythmic foundation. As a vocalist Lopez showcases an impressive and soulful singing skill set. He’s got a good trailing vibrato, power and control. Sometimes he reminds me ironically of a combination of Don Dokken (Dokken) and Dave Pevrett (Foghat). All other members play their parts well and as a whole the band a good "retro” look and sound. Kudos goes out the mind-blowing guitar/voice combo – which make up his core sound. All the musicianship and compositions are pretty solid across the board. Lopez and the gang is clearly letting it all hang out via this latest CD release. All production aspects check out. CD possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity and a warm and inviting sound. Lopez has an effective baritone and his vocal risk-taking and overall touch behind the microphone are effective. From rock steady “Smile at Me” to Grooving ”When Will I See You Again” to rocking “Cheatin’ Blues” and “I Need to know” toslamming “Company man” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 10 “The Night Is Closing In” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber. 

All songs under 3 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line.
“Is it a Lie” by Alex Lopez is a compelling, rocking, soulful, melodic, musical journey. This surging artist is clearly making waves around NE Ohio. His strong suit is their amazing song for song musical finesse and retro feel. Lopez and the gang gets high marks from me for delivering a soulful rocked out retro release like this, a rarity these day. The songwriting/playing – all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want an old school rock n’ soul experience to fill their atmosphere. At the end of the day this straight forward, easy to digest musical format is just a blast to listen and groove to.

Cyrus Rhodes

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