Friday, January 14, 2011



You have to wait until the end of the disc for the spoken word definition of bitch to know this disc is all about strength, and the fit part is all about mental energy.  The title aside, it pulses with strength.

NLX is the work of Hamilton's Natasha Alexandra, and this is another of the discs I picked up on my most recent visit to the city.  NLX is based in New York City, although comes back to Hamilton and Toronto all the time, for work and family.   This disc came out in 2009, and she's been working it well, including landing a prime piece of exposure, with one of songs, Find Love, featured on the ABC-TV show Brothers And Sisters.  Plus, she did it the old-fashioned way, without a publisher pushing her and cash and favours changing hands.  Instead, a producer heard her at her usual hotel bar gig, loved her stuff, came back other times, and simply wanted to use the song somewhere.  Nice.

Natasha Alexandra could be a sensitive singer-songwriter if she wanted.  I know because I've heard her play her songs stripped down at solo piano.  However, as NLX, it's the beats, effects, electronica, and imagination driving the songs.  In fact, I don't know if I've ever heard a more powerful or prominent use of percussive noise on a disc, and all great.  These tracks leap out of the speakers and grab you with that intensity.  At the core though is her piano melodies, haunting and rich.

Back to the words, and the strength.  The disc is a collection of songs that wade deep into the complexity of emotions, embracing them all, from sad to hurt to angry to thrilled, as positive.  It comes across as almost a personal battle against negativity, despite how deep the wound.  In other words, bring it on, life, the singer here is ready for all the experiences.  Alexander owns her songs, as she has taken ownership of the B word, letting us know it means strong-minded, passionate, intelligent.  And quite happily, she goes out of her way to invite the boys along for these discoveries.  Equal-opportunity life affirmation, right here.  Rockin' tunes, too.

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