Album Review: Alex Cameron – Forced Witness

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In a world where everybody is so passionate about stating and defending their opinions online, there aren’t many people, let alone artists, that are tackling present day situations as humorously and entertainingly as Alex Cameron. On his second studio album, Forced Witness, the Australian singer-songwriter comes through with a daring artistic statement that is strangely irresistible.

It’s no secret that Cameron is a weird guy. The album’s cover reiterates that pretty clearly. But alongside his creepiness, Cameron possesses remarkable command of the English language; his songwriting is undeniably brilliant and relentlessly comical.

On Forced Witness he is not acting alone, teaming up with his business partner and fellow saxophonist Roy Molloy, who provides steady backing instrumentation on each song.

The opener “Candy May” has the presence of an ’80s dance hit and unfolds into an epic ballad about Cameron’s obsession over an abusive girlfriend. The song serves as an ample taste of what’s to come, with hilarious lines like, “She has seen me naked, she knows I’m packin’ heat”, sang with full-fledged confidence. This is just the first glimpse of Cameron’s blatant knack for perverted wit.

The humor continues on the self-mocking “Country Figs” and the uplifting “Runnin’ Outta Luck”. On the surface these seem like generic pop-rock songs with nice choruses, but once you really dive deep into the lyrics and realize how well written and thought out each track is, it makes them all the more enjoyable. The trend continues on the catfish love story “True Lies” and the reggae-tinged “The Hacienda”.

My favorite track from the record comes in the form of a duet: “Stranger’s Kiss”, a beautiful collaboration with Angel Olsen that simply put, is one of the most eloquent and poetic displays of songwriting I’ve heard this year. It also features another noteworthy one liner from Cameron – “It feels like I could just peel the gym pants off a single mother”.

A month after its release, Forced Witness continues to be one of my most replayed albums of 2017. There are so many jaw dropping and laugh out loud lyrical moments on this project that it’s hard not love it. When you combine that with the catchiness of all the songs, this album becomes awfully hard to resist.

Favorite Tracks: Candy May, Country Figs, Runnin’ Outta Luck, Stranger’s Kiss (Duet with Angel Olsen), Marlin Brando, Politics of Love

SCORE: 8.5/10

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