Alex Nackman

Still Life Moves

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Style continues to triumph over substance on Alex Nackman's fourth album, Still Life Moves. Nackman has a throaty tenor and, with exceptions, tends to favor piano-based, mid-tempo pop/rock arrangements here, which creates a sound suggestive of Marc Cohn fronting Coldplay, for instance on the second track, "A Letter." He does rock a bit harder on "Berlin" and even revs things up to a quicker pace for the final song, "Polaroid Face." Lyrically, he picks up from the final track on his previous album, "Venice," to continue with European settings, not only on "Berlin," but also "Thoughts of Paris." But his thoughts mostly turn inward and darkly romantic, as usual, in repetitive, introspective lyrics that find him pleading, "Stop the breakdown, wait for me" ("Wait for Me") or complaining, "I can't comprehend your indifferent heart" ("Indifferent"). Yet the words seem to serve more of a rhythmic function than anything else in songs that sound good but don't seem to mean much.

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