Review: Alex Radus – Jewels & Tinware

Artist: Alex Radus
Album: Jewels & Tinware (LISTEN)
Released: 2014
Genre: Variable

Alex Radus is a versatile artist, capable of writing and playing across styles that range from modern jazz-pop to old-time country folksongs. He does this on his latest album, “Jewels & Tinware,” with an obvious knowledge of and respect for the history of modern music.

Most of “Jewels and Tinware” relies on expert guitar work to set the mood for each song. It is perhaps at is best and most beautifully intricate on “We Can’t Play Like Django,” an ode to the guitar superpowers of Django Rinehardt that features the stylings of featured artist Dave Cahill. Alex is no slouch, either – album closer “Disorganized Religion” is a fast-paced acoustic joyride that couples the artist’s smooth, multi-genre vocal punch with modern country rhythms.

Alex’s blues and jazz sensibilities are clear on “Jewels & Tinware,” with funky album opener “Genius” showcasing his vocal abilities right off the bat. A bit later on “Someday,” Alex slows things down while keeping things super-smooth in this romantic ode to anticipation.

Alex expands his horizons on “Jewels & Tinware,” and the chances he takes pay off. One example as the tastefully-done “Shoveling Stone,” an old-time country folksong right down to its lo-fi production, minimalist instrumentation and vocal harmonies. Also intriguing is the captivating story behind “Soldier of the Devil,” a rugged folk-country song that tells the tale of a World War II soldier who can’t turn back from his deeds.

If you appreciate versatility and a taste of history with your music, you’ll appreciate Alex Radus’ “Jewels & Tinware.” You’d be hard-pressed to argue that the album doesn’t contain a little something for everyone.

Track listing

  • Genius
  • We Can’t Play Like Django
  • I Haven’t Missed You
  • My Funny Valentine
  • Someday
  • Baptism Sketches
  • Never Get Lonely
  • I’m a Pistol
  • Soldier of the Devil
  • Law of Lonesome Hearts
  • Shoveling Stone
  • Disorganized Religion

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