Review of Local History Album by Alex Valentine

Alex Valentine

Alex Valentine - Local History - Album Review

Alex Valentine - Local History - Album Review
Alex Valentine

Local History

When I began to listen to this album I mistakenly thought that Alex Valentine was from the US of A, the music has a definite air of Stateside to it and to be honest I was unimpressed with its average ‘another American guitar player’ sound.

But he’s not… hailing from London’s very own Kentish Town, Valentine certainly had me fooled – and even more disappointed.

The story behind Valentine is certainly an interesting one, a teenage slot machine addict turned 30 something musician finding himself gigging as Ceausescu fell in Romania and running to the mountains for cover is story most musicians would dream of… unfortunately Valetine’s music does not match his story.

Taking his inspiration from Simon and Garfunkel is notable with Valentine’s mid range vocal gliding over the often beautiful acoustic arrangements the album offers up.

Perhaps one track that does stick out as particularly strong is ‘Truckstop Diner’, it smacks a little of ‘Walkin’ in Mephis’ and follows the same kind of theme as Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Mrs Robinson’ but works and you really are hit with a sense of loneliness and a snapshot in time.

Unfortunately the rest of the tracks don’t really wash. They’re all much of the same ilk and had me pretty worn out with all that thinking and longing and bewildering…

Folky yet not in a campfire sort of way, Valentine has produced a set of pretty similar songs about 10 years too late. The production on the tracks is dated and I truly believe this album would feel more contemporary and the quality of songwriting would realise some justice if it was redone.


Jemma Volp-Fletcher