Album: Nobody Knows Anything
Label: Gare Du Nord Records
Tracks: 13 tracks
After his acclaimed „Wodditton Wives Club” Alex Highton has come up with his second album “Nobody Knows Anything” and he surprises us with lots of electronic elements and much more strings and brass than before. The album sounds modern, experimental and really interesting.
Let me have a look at it upside down, hope you don’t mind: The songs towards the end of the album like “Somebody must know Something” or the instrumental title track “Nobody knows Anything” have dramatic qualities in them. Like the second last track “Mephisto” with its orchestral instrumentation and opulent backing vocals they can easily be visualized as film or ballet music. These three songs work well finishing off a special, extravagant work of music that deserves recognition. But, surprise being the thread on this album, the very last track appears to form another sharp contrast and the album ends with the cosy little song “It’s”. It’s a philosophical speculation about life and includes some lovely electric guitar work, some sparkling piano notes and finally a family choir as it seems.
In the singer songwriter scene I would call Alex Highton an avant-garde artist who mixes accomplished song writing with modern and classical elements. The result is convincing. Still, it’s not the technical or cross-over achievements that I relish most in Alex Highton’s music but his deep rooted song writing skills. That’s why songs like “I only asked you to try” and “Evil that men do”, “Kill” or “Sunlight burns your Skin” that build the middle part of the album resonate in me more than pieces like “Fear” or “Panic” that play with electric drums and synthesizer sounds.
A great mixture for me is the first track, “You don’t own this Life”: A lively piano, some nice, jazzy drumming and a vibrant but not too prominent brass section, an acoustic guitar at the beginning and a wide-ranging inventive melody make a perfect mix to my ears. This song works as a promising opener for an album full of surprises – one of the most exciting albums I have heard this year.