Running through the gauntlets of artistic influence is a tricky proposition for singer/songwriters. It isn’t easy straddling the line between echoing the forces that shaped your art and retaining your individuality as opposed to serving up mere mimicry. Rob Alexander’s debts are clear. The specter of Reg Dwight, aka Elton John, is an audible presence throughout his new single “Get Over Yourself”, but this isn’t pastiche.
It’s far more contemporary than Elton would dare. Moreover, Alexander embraces all-out energy that you haven’t heard from John in many years. “Get Over Yourself” has an unbridled line of attack engaging listeners from the beginning and the irrepressible brio of the vocal melody and arrangement packs a visceral punch that’s completely at home in the modern musical landscape. There’s nothing retro about Alexander’s approach.
It’s the first single from his forthcoming fourth studio album entitled Young Man’s Eyes. He wrote the songs for this release over the last year and recorded them in Los Angeles between 2022 and early 2023. He’s flanked by an impressive cadre of supporting musicians including former members of Frankie Valli’s touring band and current members of Elton John’s accompanying cast. Despite his “day job” as a South Florida-based physician anesthesiologist, Alexander is a musical natural who never treats his artistic endeavors as a hobby or lark.
“Get Over Yourself” roars out of its starting blocks. The unstoppable pulse propelling the up-tempo arrangement forward never sounds rushed so much as unleashed. It’s born from an imperative to express oneself and the message it delivers is never heavy-handed or hectoring. It’s a lyric that doesn’t suffer fools gladly, but Alexander likewise never looks to browbeat the listener for any potential failings. He prods us, instead, to look past the end of our noses and see the world that doesn’t revolve around our wants and needs alone.
Pairing his dramatic vocals with Gigi Worth’s contrasting soul is the key to unlocking the song’s potential. It isn’t the typical duet with the singers alternating each line. Alexander demarcates the song instead taking the first half while Worth commands our attention during the final part of the tune. Worth is a classic bluesy vocalist with pipes galore, but it’s far from bluster alone. She incorporates plenty of nuance into her singing.
The robust production frames the song in an overall favorable light. Some may be disappointed by the lack of instrumental warmth, but the vocals never lack an inviting sound. The track packs a punch despite whatever failings listeners may spot. It is a manageable length as well, never overstaying its welcome with listeners, and holds your attention throughout. Alexander’s shrewd decision to lead off the new release with this single shows that he’s as committed as ever to impressing his existing audience and primed to expand his fanbase with quality work. “Get Over Yourself” cuts through the dross of modern popular music with an indelible spirit and resonates with listeners. All of us have needed to hear this message at various points in our lives.