Alex Hitrick is an incredibly talented, hardworking, polished songwriter and musician.
That being said, the music he makes really isn’t my bag.
Didn’t we all agree at some point that the excesses of 70s pop music, at least those lacking a tongue in cheek campy irony, were a regrettable mistake? It’s apparent that Mr. Hitrick firmly believes the opposite.
The songs on his debut album ‘Apple Trees’ conjure the influence of early Elton John and Wings (as opposed to later Beatles which is far more excusable). Some songs sound like that demo you had on your first casio… it’s actually a Billy Joel song played with every synth instrument imaginable. And everytime you hear it you feel like you’re at a phony schmoozing cocktail party and you just know the host wants you personally to have fun reallllly bad. But you want to leave. Really bad.
We’re not sure what he’s going for other than to write really good, catchy, pop songs that keep changing in the middle and are a little bit funny, a little bit campy, and happy in that way that depressed pop stars from the seventies became soft rock in the 80s. I didn’t laugh. I felt depressed.
To resummarize and conclude, Alex Hitrick has so much promise. It almost sounds like he could write pretty good music in any genre he chose. It’s just that the one that he chose, eclectic ultra-seventies ultra-polished silly power pop, has no relevance in today’s world and no appreciation by the likes of underground publications like ours. To be fair, he does warn you on his site of his ultra slick seventies pop influences.
Oh yeah that reminds me, he also really reminds me of Ben Folds. But Ben Folds was funny in a slapstick kinda ‘the music I make is silly but fuck you I’m a big rockstar!’ sardonic kinda way. Mr. Hitrick is reaching very far for the humor.
Perhaps most telling, he doesn’t acknowledge any more contemporary influences whatsoever… maybe that’s a suggestion that he should, you know, listen to music that wasn’t made in the cheesy seventies.
If he wants our advice (which we know no one does); if you want to be a popstar, focus on more contemporary music. You don’t have to go hard rock or metal or drone for us to like you, but more John than Paul for us to appreciate you, and more Katy Perry than Chicago/Peter Cetera if you want to have a succesful career/make money.
Thanks for your submission and good luck.