Surging Pop-Star Rob Alexander Releases Epic New Album

The ongoing evolution of alternative music has been spurred forth by the underground experimentalists before everyone else – and this especially includes the fusion players like those in the surging star Rob Alexander, whose facilitation of a proper pop revival has brought forth an exciting wave of music out of his south Florida scene for the better part of the last half-decade.


The new album Young Man’s Eyes takes elements of his previous works and combines them into a more pop-specific sound I think a lot of critics are going to excitedly lose his minds over this season – and not for reasons a lot of listeners might be anticipating. In songs like “Fly on the Wall,” “Young Man’s Eyes,” “Merry Christmas in Heaven,” and “Freak Show,” Rob Alexander essentially returns the pop music model to its roots, with his brash sound ironically having more in common with the classic rockier half of soft rock in contemporary times than it does anything else. This is an album made well outside the laws of any scene, and for music fans who have always wanted a definitive album from this player, Young Man’s Eyes should be a particularly enrapturing piece to behold. 

Melodicism isn’t lost in “We Can Be Winners” and “Black Widow Rising,” but instead merely finessed to suit the backdrop it’s being placed in front of. Poetically speaking, I think the real substance of Young Man’s Eyes touches on angst too many are afraid to acknowledge in the pop music establishment, which brings to mind the efforts a generation of players engaged in to save pop from itself back in the early ‘80s.

While I’m not suggesting that “Like an Angel,” “The Kids Don’t Play Anymore,” and “Merry Christmas in Heaven” are the essence of a fresh rebellion against the west coast’s bitter stagnation, they prove you can be pop, be aggressive, and hate compositional excess all while turning up the volume and lending quarter to potent harmonies now and again. It’s an awakening if you’ve been waiting for something American-made and powerfully verse-oriented when it needs to be, but more importantly, it’s going to put Alexander on a mainstream map for a lot of listeners this year. 

There aren’t many as unspoiled by his successes in this game as Alexander is, and while he’s not stepping too far over the line to be considered a dangerous experimentalist, his style of songcraft is bound to leave a lot of mundanity proponents up in arms. You don’t need to waste time with hype – this is an album that has way more bite than you’re going to expect, but for every venomous verse it offers, a bit of familiar pop melodicism shadows the line.


I’m impressed with Young Man’s Eyes and its creator every time I give it a listen, and while it’s not the first hit in his discography, I think it’s a bar-raising, new standard for Rob Alexander and his brand of music that needs to be reexamined again down the line without question. 

Gwen Waggoner