Sometimes to uplift your mood, an upbeat album is all you need. Houston mellow rockers Alpha Rev have succeeded in creating just that with New Morning. The band’s second album covers the subject of breaking up and moving on in a lot of their songs, but doing it in a way that makes you want to make positive changes as opposed wanting to sit in the dark and cry for hours.
The album opens with its title track, which introduces the listener to Alpha Rev’s Coldplay-meets-Counting Crows sound. The song is piano driven with ambient background harmonies. It’s softer upbeat rock—a good opener for the album. “Phoenix Burn” starts slow with a simple piano lead, but has a good build. “White Fences,” “When Did I Wake Up” and “Heaven” fall in the same pattern of having a build in the music but the songs really showcase the band’s ability to integrate ambient “gang vocal like” harmonies into the songs. “Face Down” breaks up the seemingly common format of the album by throwing more of a jazz style groove into the mix. The bass line really shakes things up, as well as using synth instead of piano.
“Get Out,” “Colder Months” and “Perfect Love” are slightly different styles of ballads and show off singer Casey McPherson’s powerful vocals and strong falsetto. In “Alone With You,” acoustic guitar drives the song and they get their “indie” on by playing around with weird synth effects in the background. The album closer, “Goodbye from the Start” is the perfect blend of starting off slow and steady but building to an emotionally energetic finish. Driven by a drum line-esque percussion, piano and an awesome vocal hook the album finishes strong.
New Morning takes mellow rock and puts a bit of a punch into it. Alpha Rev keeps their music interesting as each song builds upon the last. The positive energy flowing out of each song on the album makes it a pleasurable listening experience.