Art for Art's Sake

Alexakis has his pretentions--like calling himself "A.P. Alexakis" on the production credits, an undoubted reference to A.P. Carter. Musically, he has evolved a formula that involves distinctly sour notes, anthemic choruses, and straight-ahead martial beats. And for all his railing against life's little hypocrisies, there is a slight callowness to his work: he seems unable to envision a woman who doesn't at some point act neurotic, drugged, or helpless. So Much for the Afterglow is both melodic and epigrammatic enough to get away with such dramatic personae, but for all Alexakis's large-mindedness, the album ends with a distinct kiss-off: "I wish that I could have a drink and make you pay/I wish that you would go away." Ah, but if that happened it would be a case of life imitating art--and Alexakis, of all people, knows that will never happen.

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