Alex Bleeker & The Freaks – How Far Away [album review]

by Woody on June 18, 2013

howfaraway

Alex Bleeker takes a break from his day job as bassist for Real Estate to pen himself a breakup album. While I enjoy Real Estate’s albums when I put them on, I never find myself humming them later or being able to describe a song in great detail to somebody. So I wasn’t expecting Bleeker’s side project to resonate as much as it has with me.

How Far Away is fairly similar to Real Estate in that things never seem to reach a boil. Bleeker’s effort is quite chill like most everything that Real Estate has to offer. But How Far Away is more rootsy and has plenty of Americana overtones. There’s a really nice interview with him on Emusic where he describes his love for The Dead and it is easy to see the influence from American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead coming through on this album.

While this may be a breakup album, it isn’t mopey. Bleeker is just working through some shit and it happens to have given birth to a damn good album. There’s a great quote from that Emusic interview that sums up this album quite nicely, “It’s beyond the point of just grieving and feeling sorry for yourself — it’s not sad, it’s just practical. Like, what comes next? In my case, I’m not debilitated by this thing, it’s just the reality as I wade through other relationships and try to make them work as compared to this weird gold standard.” We’ve all been there to some degree and Bleeker comes across as very human and normal in his compositions.

Don’t Look Back, Who Are You Seeing and Step Right Up (Pour Yourself Some Wine) are the standouts for me. And while Real Estate songs seem to drift away after listening, these songs stick with me to the point that I will find myself singing them without notice.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

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