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Alex Bleeker & the Freaks

How Far Away

Alex Bleeker & the Freaks
7
As of late, break-up records have become more self-aware, less inclined towards notions of self-pity and more of an invitation to share stories about how one grows from the fairly universal experience of relationships ending. Within the past year or so, artists like Jens Lekman and Christopher Owens have offered brutally honest and invitational couplets like, "I started working out when we broke up" and "If you're heart is broken, you will find fellowship with me" on their respective break-up releases. In keeping with this ongoing evolution, Real Estate bassist Alex Bleeker offers his take on the break-up album on sophomore effort How Far Away. From the get-go, How Far Away certainly doesn't sound like a particularly sad offering, as Bleeker croons over sunny folk rock opener "Don't Look Down," almost pleading not to be pitied: "don't look down on me now." Though evidently not the type to wallow in despair, Bleeker doesn't fight the fact that his songs are inescapably weighed down by a particular relationship. "I know its obvious my songs are all for you," he sings on jangly acoustic number "All My Songs." Across How Far Away's 11 sundrenched, rickety tracks, Bleeker turns the ambiguity of the "break-up" album into a refreshingly uplifting and cathartic experience. With optimistic lyrics like, "wish you luck," How Far Away feels more like a fond farewell to a former lover than a melancholic lament on what could have been. Bleeker manages to effectively tell his story without ever sounding overly self-absorbed. (Woodsist)

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