CD Review: Alexis Antes “13”

More than a decade has passed since, All Comes Down, the sophomore release from Alexis Antes, hit the streets in the Greater Cleveland area. Of course, All Comes Down was Antes’ follow-up her 1999 album of Stronger. Since that time, it seems that very little has changed as far as her writing style is concerned. For those fans of Antes’ music who have been awaiting a new album of music, Antes just recently put out a new album entitled 13. With the album, there’s a bit of nostalgia and familiarity in the new material. And for those who have missed out on what came before, this album is the perfect opportunity to discover what plenty of Clevelanders already know about.

13 from Alexis Antes features not only Antes on guitar, vocals and songwriting, the album also features Odd Girl Out alumnus Brian Bretton on drums for most of the release, Ray Flanagan on lead electric as well as acoustic guitars, album producer Jim Wirt on bass, Chris Hanna on keys and other musicians who added small touches that all helped to bring the album to life. Together, this collection of musicians help bring the music of Alexis Antes to life.

The 13 release from Alexis Antes begins with the track “Fight for a Better Day”. The track features a rather strong, driving feel to the music. That driving feel to the music creates one of the stronger tracks on the album. Like much of the music that has been produced throughout the years by Alexis Antes as well as her former bandmates Anne E. DeChant and Victoria Fliegel, “Fight for a Better Day” is a track with strong, optimistic lyrics. The track ends up coming across as an anthem of sorts for those who are looking towards the positive of what lies ahead.

The pace slows down with the song “Think of You”. The track comes complete with a sound that is very reminiscent of something from back in the seventies. That seventies feeling comes from the musical mix of the electric guitars on the track that recall the style of playing from back then. Moreover, the track brings to mind the style of Stevie Nicks after she left Fleetwood Mac. Altogether, the various musical elements combine to create a track that would easily have been welcome on any AM pop-rock radio format back in the seventies.

For the song of “Two Hearts,” Antes and the rest of the musicians create one of the more unique styles on the entire release. While there is still plenty of pop-rock feeling in the track, the song features a slightly stronger driving feeling to the pace. This track is a lot closer to straight-out Rock and Roll than most of Antes’ songs throughout the years. “Two Hearts” would easily be right at home on any Adult Contemporary radio format.

Like the track “Think of You” earlier, the song “Gentle True Spirit” provokes visions of seventies-era Rock and Roll. But instead of an AM Radio format where the lighter fare of those days was being played, “Gentle True Spirit” has a lot more energy to the music. While still rather low-key when compared to, say, Album-Oriented Rock, the Bobbi Antes-penned track finds Alexis and the rest of the musicians creating a track that pays tribute to the singer-songwriter’s late mother by bringing this track to life.

Speaking of the Antes family, the track several tracks later called “Virginia” was written by Scott Antes, the father of Alexis. On this track, the listener finds Alexis Antes channeling musicians like Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon and other female Folk singers. The gentle pace of the music and the relatively sparse musical accompaniment on the track recalls the early days of Antes’ days as part of Odd Girl Out. Since “Virginia” was actually penned by Alexis’ father Scott that would explain why it is the song seems to have a musical flavor very reminiscent of something from James Taylor. You could easily imagine Taylor or another male singer bringing this track to life. The version included here by Antes herself, much like with Bobbi Antes’ “Gentle True Spirit,” is a nice tribute to her father.

While the majority of the new release from Alexis Antes is made up of original compositions either written by Antes, co-written by Antes or written by the parents of the singer-songwriter, there is one true cover song on the album.

13 from Alexis Antes comes to a close with the Stevie Nicks-penned song “Landslide” which was released on Fleetwood Mac’s self-titled album back in 1975. And while the song was given new life back in 2002 when the Dixie Chicks gave the track a Country flavor, the new version from Antes once again features a Folk music quality to the music. The track features the unmistakable guitar playing from Antes’ Odd Girl Out partner Victoria Fliegel. The track’s quality immediately brings to mind another cover tune that had been included on Antes’ All Comes Down release: “My World Is Empty Without You,” the track made famous by The Supremes. Much like that cover by Antes, “Landslide,” complete with Fliegel’s guitar playing, feels new and exciting while still containing enough familiarity to keep fans of the track happy.

The thirteen tracks that make up the 13 release combine to create a release that will satisfy fans of pop music as well as Folk. 13 from Alexis Antes is yet another album from the Cleveland Music Scene veteran that is music to your ears.

 

To check out the music of Alexis Antes, check out the song “Heaven Sent” from Alexis Antes’ album 13.

 

To purchase a copy of 13 from Alexis Antes, click on the album cover below:

 

Alexis Antes will be in concert in the near future. Antes will be taking to the stage at The Music Box Supper Club.  The date for the concert is February 01, 2018. For the concert, Antes will be joined onstage by Brian Bretton, Chris DeHaas and Victoria Fliegel, three of Antes’ fellow musicians who once made up the band Odd Girl Out. The concert will feature not only music from 13, but music from Antes’ other albums and even some music from Virginia Dare and maybe even some Odd Girl Out tunes. The night promises to be fun and music filled. For more information on the concert at The Music Box Supper Club, click HERE.   

 

 

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