Reviews

Alex Cameron
Forced Witness

(Secretly Canadian)

9/10

Alex Cameron is a highly sexualised dude. You would be too if you looked and danced like him – a stringy guy from Sydney who’s all legs and is constantly pointing his toes and flexing his knees to pull his jeans tight across his thy. It still feels kinda incongruous when he sings about “pussy” on his second album, though, ultimately down to the style of music he makes (’80s AM, white road pop), rather than how much he’s getting. There’s maybe a double standard there, like how we wouldn’t have stood for ‘Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe’ if it had come from Noel Gallagher.

Cameron – accompanied by his “business partner” saxophonist sidekick, Roy Molloy – doesn’t care because it allows him to fuck with us; something that he’s always done in an incredibly entertaining and dry way. ‘Forced Witness’ is full of “pussy” and what feels like a hundred double-take lyrics capable of ghosting past you whilst you’re distracted by the endless melodies. He really does sing ‘I got shat on by an eagle, baby,’ on ‘Stranger’s Kiss’; a duet with Angel Olsen where the pair mutually celebrate baulking commitment. ‘I want you to say that my face has a Beckham-like quality,’ he insists on ‘Marlon Brando’ (a song from the point of view of an out-dated male), just before he holds his hands up to a homophobic slur from earlier.

Sex is all over the place, even on the cheesy bossanova of ‘Hacienda’, ‘True Lies’ (about being too horny to not ignore the perils of Internet dating) and of course on breathy modern soul pastiche ‘Studmuffin96’. And somewhere between the stadium pop of Heart and the dive-bar dirt of Springsteen, Cameron is undeniable in craft, humour and sax solos.

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