Fourth Coast Entertainment -

By R O Donnell
FCE Staff 



Last updated 8/31/2015 at 5:47pm | View PDF

photos: R O'Donnell

Allexa Hooper's debut album "Where the Broken Ones Lies" is an inspiring atmospheric medley that ever so delicately floats from one expressive tune to the next without pretention. As a singer/songwriter, Allexa may quote Birdie and Hozier among her influences but her talents are more in the EMA, Lianne La Havas, and Bea Miler arena. She deserves an edgier and more eclectic spotlight after all, for this gifted teenager has ideally tapped into the heart mindfulness that would easily bring tears to her generation of teens as well as the single mother remembering the one that got away to the veteran soldier placed in harm's way, gallantly missing his sweetie back home. "Where the Broken Ones Lies" is a mature and woeful glimpse into the everyday foils that profoundly affect each and every one of us.

An alternative/indie mix, her music and lyrics are certainly teen angst in the "Teen Pop" tradition but in her addictive melodies and palpable lyrics are an intricate scent of purpose. Her sound is intensely visceral and visual, a déjà vu of the senses. There is something of a wise-old spirit lingering in her songs, a sort of musical sage that sits beside her as she plays her piano in the solitary hours of the night.

Listening with headset on, Allexa's voice is wholly unique. There isn't an overzealous polish that often rubs off the more impeccable imperfections. I like the fresh and elusive music-box tenderness of her sound. Her vocal interpretations are dreamy yet real in that they speak to the shared obstacles we've all faced head-on. Complex and sometimes messy issues such as betrayal and cruelty are presented alongside such themes as compassion and forgiveness. These are all deeply felt struggles that often transcend the limits of her age.

The album, only available through her Facebook page, offers a brooding and unforgettable mix that include some remarkable standalone tunes such as "Time." A somewhat melancholy yet determined reminder that the heart only wants what it wants. Her lovely melody easily carries the earnest message that her hurt is unfortunately as real as it gets, that the inevitable "writing is on the wall" appears as she woefully sings, "You said forever is where we go but the time is getting shorter all the time." And then there is "Broken" which harmoniously examines yet another kind of unfaithfulness whereby it wasn't enough to be crushed by love but now fragmented is an unfixable and perpetual state of being. Powerful metaphors for any melodious poet. "Mistakes," also perfectly addresses impulsiveness that sadly never really stops with age and the inevitable regret that ensues, "Wake me when the mood is over to a better day when there's no need to dry my eyes." All of it reveals an artist that feels deeply and is fearless in exposing her most vulnerable side. There's no holding back. With that one ingredient, Allexa will certainly succeed.

It's evident that I am a big fan of Hooper's music. She made a durable impression on me last year. As I made my way to review the second annual MOOD (Music On the Oswegatchie Delta) Fest back in 2014, I was walking along the footbridge across the sparkling Oswegatchie River, whereby it was her outstanding vocal that Pied-Piper-ed me along. At the time, I thought I was listening to a masterful musician offering a sneak-peak at their latest recording soon to be gracing alternative rock stations across the globe. What I witnessed instead was a young, unassuming girl at an electric keyboard playing soulful tunes with all the charisma and polish of a seasoned Billboard chart-topper. My mind was sufficiently blown. Afterwards, I asked her about her amazing body of work, unbelievable at any age really, and she told me that all the songs I just heard (a dozen or so) were written only a few months earlier in a flash of fantastic inspiration. I just shook my head, knowing, if this young girl is offering this mature blend of music and lyrics at the tender age of 14, well then, a star is born. Her album "Where the Broken Ones Lies" is a testament to that assertion.

Still, as with many courageous albums, one song stands out among the sparkling gems. It touched my heart profoundly as I find myself singing it whenever people say "I can't" as an obstacle to my creative achievements. "Lights," is a near perfect tribute to that mindset. The spirit that never gives up no matter how many times one stumbles in the darkness of their oppressors, that the light will always lead us to triumph over all. That is the true spirit of this album, the true nature of the artist Allexa Hooper, who will go on writing, singing and never let her "Lights go out."


Reader Comments

ginnie112 writes:

This an amazing article for an amazing girl, my granddaughter, Allexa Hooper. Thank you Mr. O'Donnell for thinking so much of Allexa.


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