Alex Nestor Someone Better album

Alex Nester’s new album, Someone Better could have been plucked from the airwaves in the 1970’s, when the music was fresh, real musicians played real instruments, and songs were supposed to mean something. Alex is the singer and bandleader who wrote all the songs on the album, (one has a co-writer) and she has a style that colors every song. The songs may range from a Latin beat to a mournful cello, but all of them distill Alex’s life experiences into moving emotional musical dramas.
One of the key crises that inspired the songs on this album was the severe illness of Alex’s close friend. Two songs, “Open Heart” and “Hold My Breath” come directly from that experience, and both of them are songs you will want to keep close should you need inspiration. Alex manages to convey musically and directly the fear, the hope and the deep love that she experienced as her friend hung between life and death. These are songs that will stay with you for a long time.
There is much more emotional complexity and authenticity as well. Alex has clearly conceived this album as something that will help her audience cope with the vagaries of life, you can find songs that will help deal with break-ups, heartbreak, moving on and “Toxic People”. And Alex has done with the assistance of a great team of musicians. Particularly worthy of notice are Max O’Leary (Urban Renewal Project) on trumpet who did the horn arrangements and Greg Karas on guitar. Alex gives them room to actually play, and there are times when the band is captured cooking like a top notch live performance. Every song on the album is played at full intensity; not a song is taken off.
If I have any quibbles, there are some audio issues on “What You’ve Done” that I would have removed. Alex does rap on “Toxic People”, and she does a creditable job, but it might have been a good place for a guest star. Speaking of guest stars, Sara Niemietz brings her instantly recognizable vocals to “Empty Handed”, making that song an instant highlight as Sara and Alex’s duet evolves into a full-on barn burner.

To sum it up, Alex Nester has a master’s grasp of musical colors and a sincere emotional authenticity. If you want an album that will reward listening to again and again, you will want Someone Better.