Alpha Rev - New Morning (2010)


Just who are these shattered souls Alpha Rev singer/songwriter Casey McPherson sketches in his songs? Why an evocative cello solo on one track, and a killer guitar riff in the next? Eventually, under the sway of the band's music, it all becomes clear. It's there in the sweep of melody and brash confessions of McPherson's lyrics. One or two songs into New Morning, Alpha Rev's Hollywood Records debut album, and you're hooked. Produced by David Kahne (Paul McCartney, Sublime, the Strokes) "New Morning" wrestles with thematic contrasts: faith and faithlessness, entrapment and freedom, sleep and wakefulness. Yet throughout, the band's eclectic style and McPherson's melodies provide the backbone. "Melody is what connects the music," McPherson says. "It takes you somewhere, gives you a memory, changes your mind, lets you drive a little bit farther or stay up a little bit later." "When Did I Wake Up" and "Face Down" pick up the power pop mantle, while "Get Out," with its towering arrangement, has McPherson seeking escape from a grey existence. The beautifully subdued "Colder Months" runs with the same theme, inspired by McPherson's days in New York, when he was forced to pawn his guitar pedals and eat crackers to survive. Alpha Rev ups the ante with "Heaven," ("Do you know what it's like?/Life without heaven?/Flat lined. Alone"), followed by "Perfect Love," the point at which "New Morning" reaches a kind of spiritual equilibrium. But leave it to McPherson to end the album on an autumnal note with "Goodbye From the Start." "Music is my way of communicating," he says. "It's a gift I've been given and trained to do. If I knew how to do it in a less personal way, it would be a lot easier." McPherson immersed himself in music at an early age, turning around the Hondo acoustic guitar his father bought at Sears, so he could use it left-handed. He taught himself to play chords upside-down and how to write "1-4-5 chords on one hand and melody on the other" on a toy electric keyboard.

Alpha Rev
New Morning
Album art: 
Release date: 

1. New Morning
2. Phoenix Burn
3. White Fences
4. When Did I Wake Up
5. Face Down
6. Get Out
7. Alone With You
8. Colder Months
9. Heaven
10. Perfect Love
11. Goodbye From The Start
12. New Morning (Acoustic)

Music label: 
Hollywood Records
United States
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