Album Review: Graham Alexander - Repeat Deceiver by Linda Garnett
Graham Alexander states on his Repeat Deceiver album notes that these songs are his view of “the state of human affairs in general”, reﬂecting his experiences of being deceived by the music industry, corporations and people. The track listing has titles that conﬁrm this, and you’d expect some kind of cross between punk rock and heavy metal angst, but from the moment you play the ﬁrst track, that pre-conceived notion gets smashed with the ﬁrst song. The 10 tracks carry the freshness of the early 60s and 80s or rock/funk/pop/jazz.
From the opening notes of the title track, Repeat Deceiver, this song transports you back to the early Beatles’ sound. Then it morphs cleverly into an energetic and loud throwback to 80s pop/ rock. The ﬁrst thing you can’t help notice is how Graham’s voice reminds you of a young Paul McCartney. The band hits its stride as Graham’s vocal delivery emotes with an angry rawness wrapped up in the blunt honesty of the lyrics.
After the title track’s angry energy, the next track Romeo Blue is anything but. Its funk guitar and upbeat melody launches you into a feel good mood. Graham gives everything vocally and enthusiastically. His vocals combined with the wonderful background harmonies, creates an infectious vibe that will stay with you until the last note.
The soft rock ballad on the album is Games and it’s not your typical acoustic rock. It’s a full bodied bouquet of jazz guitar, piano and string section. This track opens with a beautiful string orchestra that provides a backdrop of sadness for the song. Graham delivers strong emotive vocals revealing the tug of war of denial and acceptance of a love relationship betrayal and loss. This one will tug on your heart.
She’s A Chameleon is a solid high energy funky tune with a great groove, complete with a fantastic tight horn section with saxophones and trumpets. Graham’s guitar work is a worthy nod to funk songs of the 70s and the solo is killer. Graham’s intense vocals really belt on this one. This track will have you out of your seat and ready to dance.
Trying to save your relationship never sounded so, well, happy. Third Wheel is a very buoyant tune that will get your toes tapping. Horns and orchestral strings lay down the upbeat foundation with piano and percussion. There’s even a blip of a fantastic saxophone solo at the end. Graham pulls off going into his higher register on this one with a unique result.
The solid rocker on the track list is Wait In The Rain. Graham’s strong and vivid rock vocals drive home the passion of the dark lyrics. The guitar riffs and small solo are solid, reminiscent of 1980s rock. The harmonies of the bridge perfectly complement Graham’s vocals. The rain storm at the very end of the song cleverly cements the atmosphere of the song. Leave the lights on when you listen to this one.
American Au Pair in Paris, Two Ships Passing In The Night, and People Are Only Sorry When They’re Caught round out the rest of the album.
Recommended. Go buy this one. Repeat Deceiver is a refreshing personal but honest view of being human.