Review: Joe Hedges - Alchemy
Alchemy is Joe Hedges second solo album and fifth studio release. Hedges was once signed with the band July for Kings on MCA Records and was ultimately lost in the shuffle during MCA’s merger with Geffen Records. Hedges has experienced the music business, and thankfully has continued to release wonderful music.
Alchemy’s first track is appropriately entitled “Magic.” The term alchemy is commonly connected to the idea of “magically” transforming a basic element into gold, but it also conveys the idea of a mixture. Both of these ideas could be used to describe this album. Alchemy is a captivating mixture of acoustic and electronic music that makes you want to both tap your foot and stop to meditate on what you are listening to. Hedges has a knack for writing music that is both catchy and interesting to listen to.
Hedges, throughout Alchemy, alternatingly moves in and out of acoustic and electronic instrumentations, usually within the same song. “I Can Try,” Alchemy’s second track moves effortlessly from acoustic guitar and vocals to building into an electronic motif. “Ladders” is electronic through and through (do you hear that auto-tune?), but features acoustic drums. “Proletarian” is unabashedly and almost heavy-handedly electronic, but “Cicadas,” the very next track, uses acoustic guitar, piano, acoustic drums, and sensitive vocals.
Bottom line, Alchemy is a lovely album that (in my opinion) gets better the more you listen to it. Go check it out!