Alex Nestor Someone Better album

Alex Nester has an infectious smile and a big voice that I would liken to jazz and gospel singer Della Reese. She is a working musician and a cancer survivor (Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) of twenty years. She has opened for the acts, Earth Wind & Fire, Chicago, and Dave Mason and has worked in various capacities with equally impressive groups. Her talents were recognized and mentored at age nine by Robby Robinson (music director and keyboardist for Frankie Valli). Alex is an American Idol alum (season 9), I became familiar with her work as a backing vocalist on the single, “Let Me Be” (2017), and again on the album twentytwenty (2020) for Sara Niemietz.

Tonight I am writing about Nester’s single, “Empty Handed“, which can be found on her CD, Someone Better (2021). Musically, the song opens with a smooth prominent bassline, and the chorus cascades into an anthem with horns arranged by Alex Csillag. The music would be well suited for a television sitcom theme song with Alex and Sara acting their parts to the backing track on this video.

My bags are packed and I’m ready to go
But I think I’d rather go it alone
I ain’t got time for these troubles of mine
So I’m leavin’ empty handed

On first impression, the presentation appears to be about a typical sitcom theme, an overburdened housewife who leaves her home to thrive on her own but wait a minute..

Why do I keep these things
No one needs
Someday I’ll suffocate
Cause I ran outta room for me

Okay, maybe the song is about the things we accumulate and don’t really need? Yes, that’s the ticket, things we don’t need. A wise friend once told me, “The number of problems you have in life is directly proportional to the number of keys on your keyring.” Here comes the second verse, suitcases are introduced, I guess if you are leaving empty handed, you’re going to need a suitcase and clothes, right? Everybody needs clothes…

Into the second chorus and we are in packing frenzy mode, everything is not going to fit, cram it shut, empty again…

I ain’t got time for these troubles of mine
So I’m leavin’ empty handed
I’m leavin’ empty handed
And that’s just fine…

In the end, our heroines decide not to “go it alone” and leave arm in arm with just a cocktail in hand, leavin’ LAvish Photo Studios, Studio #5, disheveled and exposed. Still, I’m not sure what our story is about, I rewind and ponder the opening artwork by Jerry Rodriguez.

Perhaps the teddy bear in the Jerry Rodriguez artwork represents the things and accouterments that keep us tethered to the Earth?

So I can’t tell you if there is a teaching moment in this song and presentation, but one thing I can say is that if the world didn’t suck, we’d all fall off.

Alex Nester Homepage