ALEXA

"Alexa" (MTM Classix; 1989 / 2006)

Reviewed by Edwin Van Hoof

Perhaps buried by the numerous releases of established rock ladies such as Lee Aaron and Lita Ford or female-fronted bands such as Witness, Headpins or Heart, Alexa's debut didn't attract much attention upon its original release. Produced by Paul Sabu (HEART, SILENT RAGE, ALICE COOPER, etc.), one would have expected otherwise. However, when the very limited re-issue of Alexa's 1989 self-titled release sold out promptly, Europe and especially England jumped to their feet and almost instantly, the powerful debut CD was going for as much as $150 on eBay. At last, MTM Classix took the step to re-issue this gem.

Checking the line up of this CD, fans will start to tremble. Seeing the elusive names from the great outfit Only Child will make most of us will start to drool. But lets not forgot the most important talent here: the powerful, roaring voice of Alexa Anastasia herself! 

This girl can shout my friends! Think of Joanna Dean blended with the most powerful pop queen! Alexa simply tops all with her immense power and passionate performance. All of that combined with the powerful shredding and lightning fast playing of Paul Sabu and the swirling keyboard playing of Tommy Rude, and you have one of the finest rock albums of the 80s. There's not one weak song on this amazing debut CD. 

Whether you want it full frontal or you want it more relaxed and ballad-esque, Alexa offers the best of both worlds. Blistering melodic fury in “Let It Rock” and “Heart to Heart” with its loud raging vocals, or straight forward as in the opener “I Can’t Shake You.” “Dance the Night Away” with its swirling choirs in close harmony with Sabu’s unmistakable guitar sound. All kept together by the hammer-hard foundation of Esposito’s loud powerdrumming, and Maglio’s pumping bass sound. 

“Wanderlust” established Alexa's fame in the UK instantly with its raging keys. Other fine moments are the amazing rock ballad “A Cry Away” with its soaring, heartfelt vocals. Definitely one of Alexa’s most amazing moments, spreading intimacy and emotion with sheer passion. “From Now On,” with its intimate setting, explodes into a roaring up tempo, keyboard driven semi-ballad with large pumped choirs and a heavy bridge, shape shifting with emotion and power, over and over. Or the truly great cover version of Atlanta’s Rhythm Section’s classic “Spooky” which grows into a keyboard driven bluesy power rocker.

My personal fave of all time (!!) is the amazing “We Don't Remember Why” which is action packed and has a ‘sticky’ ear tingling chorus that haunts you for many years to follow. A track that is by far best Sabu has recorded and produced, making even Only Child’s finest moments sound bleak.

We must be truly grateful for MTM Classix for the re-issue of this mighty piece of pomp rock history; an album that bears the mark of true greatness. The powerful sound of Sabu’s arena rock sound shoots this album into orbit, while Alexa delivers the extras with her amazing blues-rooted powerful voice. And, yeah, we have some great news as well! Alexa has touched base with yours truly to tell us all about the future and upcoming recording of brand new material! Keep your eyes peeled for the news as it happens!

Performing on "Alexa" are: Alexa Anastasia - vocals; Paul Sabu – guitars, production; Tommy Rude - keyboards; Murrill Maglio - bass; Charles Esposito – drums; Additional Background Vocals: Devon Meade. 

For more information, check out http://www.mtm-music.com. 

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09 Apr 2017 12:09:58 -0400.