Independent release, 2019


REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Leeds, England artist Alex Carrie isn’t endowed with all of the qualities one might consider essential for producing a bubbly dance record, but he has created just that, and done it quite splendidly for the most part, on his debut album Honeymoon.

For instance, Carrie sounds just the way he looks. His “Hindu Sadhu” beard doesn’t necessarily scream happy and carefree music, and neither do his rough vocals, which feel suited for an expletive-filled rowdy discussion of sports over many-a-beer. So when he tries to “sex it up” on “Honey, I Feel Like Sinning,” with his auto-tuned vocals, he sounds creepy.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

He fares better on “Moon,” “Hard On You,” and “Still Love.” No doubt, these are prosaic pop songs with cutesy lyrics that might fit a boy band, but feel off-kilter for of a gruff, amply-bearded man... Still, with smart beats (that include horn instrumentation used for rhythm), these tracks aren’t bad at all. On the other hand, “You’re So Cool” is the only number of the poppy variety where Carrie’s singing actually works, making this one of the strongest cuts on the Honeymoon.

Carrie is an excellent beat maker. With this talent, he can turn any number on its head, as brilliantly exhibited on “Evil Twin,” which is plagued by the ungodly combination of Carrie’s barbaric vocals, puerile lyrics, and peppy song mood. But with his crackerjack beat arrangements with its playful “marching band” feel, the awkwardness of the track ultimately becomes a distant thought as you find yourself helplessly moving your body to its spellbinding catchiness.

Several numbers here that have a more serious “industrial” appeal, which suit Carrie’s vocals, and not coincidentally, are album highlights. These cuts – “Blessing In A Black Dress,” “Doom Is The Mood I’m In,” “I Thought I Murdered You,” “If That’s How You Feel,” “Phase,” and “Waves” – are full of heavy synths and a somber singing style. Still, Carrie does not shy away from having some fun, as with his inclusion of cowbells amid the bleak synths and crushing hip-hop beats on “Phase.”

The great thing about Honeymoon is that it is free of pretensions. Carrie sounds clumsy, especially on some of the more googly-eyed tracks, but he doesn’t care; if he wants to make a certain kind of song, he just does it. And why shouldn’t he? In the end, he has created a super-addictive album, all due to his superior musical prowess.

Rating: B

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