Alex Scheuerer is a Swiss guitarist and Jazz musician based in London and today I’ll be reviewing his album ‘Between Heaven & Earth’.
‘Write a Song ft. Najwa Ezzaher’ opens strong, with a nice slow intro, and the crystal clear vocals of Najwa Ezzaher. I was not well the day I started reviewing it, seasonal flu and all that but this track with it’s peppy and quirky energy really picked me up. It’s a strange one right enough though, it never picks up enough to be considered fast, but the rhythm and melody of the track are upbeat and certainly have energy, it evokes images of a cocktail party in the 80’s.
‘London Flavour’ opens with a funky little horn section that I personally adored, so far I’m enjoying these compositions, they don’t take themselves too seriously but they are far from just throwaway tracks you’d forget as soon as they were done. I especially liked the harder guitar riffs interspersed throughout the track, it’s consistent but not without surprises, just enough to keep you guessing.
‘Between Heaven and Earth’ is the title track of the album and those of you who’ve been following my page for a while will know that the title track, to me at least, has a lot riding on it, I mean it’s supposed to be a singular track on the album, maybe not the best but certainly it needs to be impressive. I was not let down, the smooth, smokey intro made me think of old noir movies, and I just let the music wash over me. It was soft, and slow and resonate and just a beautifully put together track.
‘Diamonds ft. Najwa Ezzaher’ After the previous track this one was a surprise, a lot more energy, and it was a wonderful cover that managed to improve upon the original, the vocalist really put a lot of herself into it and I was thoroughly impressed with the result. Another thing I enjoyed were the electronic keyboard trills that added a very unique quality to the track, especially when overlayed with more conventional guitar and drums.
‘Interlude’ is another slower track, with some strong guitar sections, it’s certainly a very open track, it’s not overly cluttered, but it does give the guitarist a lot of room to riff and play around with the core melody of the track. Personally I like it, and it’s very much what you’d expect from a track called interlude. And it picks up as it goes on, building towards its conclusion and the next track really well, specially once percussive elements get added around the 2 minute mark.
‘First steps’ really hammers home for me this feeling that, you could play any or all of these songs, a decade or two ago and they’d still be as good, still connect with people, they have a timeless quality to them that works exceptionally well. This one in particular works really well, strong horns, backed up by subtle percussion and it all just melds into a powerful and simple piece of music.
‘Flirting with Sounds’ is a great name for a track, although I do feel this entire album so far has been doing that, and done it well too. But anyway, this song is heavier on the percussion than some of the others, although the percussion is by no means heavy itself, in fact it’s light but consistent and really helps to bring together the track as a whole. This track has more exploring electronic notes, that I really enjoy, they add an element of curiosity to the track.
‘For a Stranger’ is another softer, slower track, I liked the gentle pipes, they added a lot to the rhythm and still managed to sound a little funky as well.
‘Hopscotch’ has a bouncy rhythm to it, that is very fitting for a track called hopscotch, and it’s a really strong track as well approach the end of the album. It and the previous track both wind things down nicely, and yet they aren’t to be casually dismissed.
‘La Vie En Rose ft. Najwa Ezzaher’ the original (original and the English version) are among my favourite songs of all time, so I was super excited to see this was the closing track for the album and what a closer it was, the album itself went from strength to strength, which is all the more impressive for it being the artists debut release, but truly this was a fantastic addition. I won’t compare it to the original because this is a very different beast, but it’s a powerful track, that again gives the vocalist a chance to shine. I must have listen to it at least five times before reviewing and each time I was just blown away.
First Published on: https://offtherecordblog.org/