A blues-rock harmony is waiting to come alive with passionate indie sizzle in the title track of Alex Lopez’s new album Looking for a Change, but if you think for a second that the acclaimed singer and songwriter is limiting the potent output in this record to the titular tune alone, you’re in for quite the surprise in the nine songs that join it here. From the shape of the namesake piece, we find other elements of blues magic like “Tequila King” fiercely waiting, allowing for the exotic components of the music to play out smoothly rather than choppy. “Whiskey Covered Woman” comes with a staggering step that resembles an angry drunk lurching forward ever so aggressively, but as outlandish as the instruments are, Lopez himself is a picture of stability at the microphone.
“Whiskey Covered Woman” picks up with the same brawn the rest of the record is made of but with a distinctly rock-centric hook. “Blues They Rock” has one of the more streamlined melodies of any song here, and yet I think that it’s also one of the more emotionally charged as well. It’s impossible to equate efficiency with the pen to a conservative passion in this performance, and once you take a look at most any of the songs in the tracklist of Looking for a Change, I think you’re going to understand what I’m talking about. Lopez is a no-fat player, but his music does not have to be devoid of any color just to be to the point and without the fluff so many of the records I review contain.
“Spanish Blues” feels like a compelling yin to the yang of the aforementioned material, but their aesthetical brotherhood isn’t the result of a repetitive model being utilized by Alex Lopez himself in this record. “Tell Me” has the same melodic profile but with an intricate backdrop rather than anything simplified, and save for the angelic “Wild as the Wind,” I think it could be the best-arranged work on the second half of the album. Nothing here actually lags or sounds like it doesn’t belong, but I can tell that Lopez was going through a lot of different emotions when he was writing this just because of how much he’s able to get lyrically in songs previously mentioned.
“She” has an almost theatrical quality to its intro that only gets bigger and more progressive as we go on, but I don’t think it overshadows the subtle grandiosity of the tone-focused “Night Closing In.” We come to the end of the line in Looking for a Change with the intriguing “Politician,” but its haunting harmonies only prove to me that this is an artist who belongs on stage in front of a roaring audience who needs the right voice to comfort them this summer. There’s just no other way for me to put this – Alex Lopez has a ton of talent and a pretty fun way of delivering fretwork even when it sparks familiar flames, and if you aren’t listening to his new album Looking for a Change right now, you don’t know what you’re missing.