EP REVIEW: Alexander 23 – Oh No, Not Again!

Oh yes, it’s happening again. Alexander 23 has had a huge 12 months with the viral success of ‘IDK You Yet’ which has introduced him to a mainstream global audience, and now the singer-songwriter is ready to showcase his second EP to the world. 

‘Oh No, Not Again!’ is a collection of nine tracks that highlights his vulnerable and strong ability to explore introspection in its most candid and artistic form. Compiled by the five singles he’s released during the past year, there are also four new songs for fans to dive into and simultaneously feel all the heavy emotions you didn’t know you needed to feel.

From the viral ‘idk you yet’, to the unintentional lockdown anthem ‘Nothing’s The Same’, to ‘Brainstorm’, ‘Caught In The Crowd’, and the hit waiting in the sidelines, ‘Cry Over Boys’, the singles already paint a diverse and vulnerable soundscape. With a production centred around an acoustic guitar, he’s built up a cinematic inclined sound that incorporates romanticism in a subtle but deliberate manner. His sincerity shines through the songs, and has you immediately feeling all the emotions with him, even if you can’t currently relate. Sonically that is the template for the majority of the songs on the EP, but it works really well.

Stepping into new song territory, ‘Come Here And Leave Me Alone’ is a light and gradual pop song that explores the conflicting battle of mental health and love. “I know it’s unfair to wake you up like this at three in the morning, but sometimes it’s hard to tell if I need love, from you or from myself” he sings during the smooth hook. It’s a moody but honest track that immediately stands out, draws you in, and hits you with this relatable storyline of simultaneously needing someone but also needing space. 

‘She Loves Me’ injects some John Mayer meets John Legend influences with a soulful sonic that has an immediate groove to it. And don’t even get me started on the playful lyrics “She loves me, she loves me not. She fucks with me, she fucks me over” in the chorus, because they are VERY good. And then he gives you the post-breakup anthem ‘Good To See You Again’ which perfectly captures the awkwardness and reassured validity that occurs when you run into your ex again, which lets be honest, is never a vibe. 

Closing the EP with the playful but still emotionally inclined ‘Track 9’, he gives listeners a different take on heartbreak with the reality of being a creative intertwined into the mix. Writing this song about still holding onto a relationship, he starts by addressing the distance between them. “Hey, it’s been a while since we’ve talked. I see you made it all the way to Track 9. So thanks for listening to all my thoughts. I used to give ’em to you straight, but now you wait for the release date” he sings. And then he goes straight in for the kill with the introspective “And you’re probably wondering where are all the songs about us? I hear ’em in my head, but I can’t write ’em down ‘cause once the pen’s to paper, then it’s really, really over. And I’d much rather pretend that maybe we’rе still okay”. And for any creative, those lyrics will hit DEEP. 

Each song on ‘Oh No, Not Again!’ highlights the impressive level of songwriting that Alexander 23 has honed into his craft. He is a storyteller of a new generation, and not only is he relatable, but he’s also got quirk to him which a lot of artists forget to interpolate. The song’s concepts aren’t groundbreaking revelations in any case, but his perspective is uniquely fresh. He takes this simple idea and runs with it to turn it into a multi-layered experience, and that is the true art of songwriting.