If there is one word to accurately describe Alex Ross-Iver, it is busy. This individual has cut over 500 tracks since ey got into the music scene at the age of five, and this “greatest hits” collection sports 27 separate tracks. However, just because someone has 500 tracks to their name does not necessarily mean that any of the tracks are particularly exciting. A sterling case of that concerns Steve Lieberman, who is up to eir 11th or so full length, and only can claim an album’s worth of strong tracks throughout eir career. Unlike Lieberman or Mizar, Alex Ross-Iver has a very high set of production values that start off tracks like “Wacky Jacky”.
This does not change in subsequent tracks, and by the time tracks like “Latin” hit listeners, one can almost hear a cohesive album being created. This sound is something that is bolstered with each following track, even as Alex moves between different styles , tempos, and instruments used. The one act that immediately reminds me of what Alex Ross-Iver does on this best of CD has to be Wired All Wrong, which is an act that had a member of God Lives Underwater in it. Ross-Iver is able to jump through a number of different styles throughout the entirety of this disc, and it never feels as if ey is trying to throw crap on a wall and sees what sticks.
“Will I Be The Best in Berklee” is one of the strongest tracks on the disc, as it brings Alex Ross-Iver into a very eighties type of electronic rock, almost as if Nine Inch Nails mated with Depeche Mode. The pseudo-soul sound of Ross-Iver comes back heavily during “Cin! Find Me A Small Car!”. This track also changes up the output of Ross-Iver by having the vocals sound as if they have been screwed and chopped. I am not familiar with what Ross-Iver has done in the past beyond the tracks culled from eir previous works on this album, but this CD sounds as good of a place to go to learn about Ross-Iver than anything. Even though the tracks are all odd when one compares them to the rest of popular music, there is a lot here than individuals can find that they can love about Ross-Iver. Part Wendy Carlos, part Berry White, Ross-Iver has a number of tricks up eir sleeve to properly get fans to eat out of eir pocket.
Top Tracks: Will I Be The Best in Berklee, Cin! Find Me A Small Car!
Alex Ross-Iver – Best of 2001-2005 / 27 Tracks / http://www.alexpop.com / http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/rossiver2 / Reviewed 18 January 2006