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Alexx Calise – In Avanti (2010, self-released)

1. “Anything Goes” … 3:37
2. “Break Me” … 3:37
3. “Cry” … 3:12
4. “Get Used To It” … 3:36
5. “Good Enough (The Dirty South Mix)” … 3:09
6. “My Song (Version 2.0)” … 3:09
7. “Out of Sight” … 3:34
8. “Saying Goodbye” … 3:37
9. “See You Again” … 4:30

Last year I reviewed Alexx Calise’s 2007 release Morning Pill. It was a good collection of radio-ready rock and pop and In Avanti is more of the same. Actually, I’m enjoying In Avanti a lot more Morning Pill, it’s just a stronger record that speaks volumes of Ms. Calise’s growth as a singer, musician and songwriter and is full of hooks and melodies that keep me coming back for more. I said in the past that Alexx was at her best when rocking out and luckily that’s what she does throughout most of this release. The album only slows down a bit for the ballads “Cry”, “Out of Sight” and “See You Again” but they are all well done, so it’s not a problem.

There’s really no reason this album shouldn’t gain Alexx even more attention. The album is made up of songs that are what I like to call “hard rock pop”. The songs are heavy enough to be considered rock songs and get on modern rock radio but they also have slick electronica dance beats that would make them sound right at home on the pop stations. It’s quite a balancing act that Alexx has mastered. My favorite tracks would have to be “Anything Goes” which was a great choice to open the album and go full throttle right from the start and “Out of Sight”, which reminds me of Evanescence.

Oh and if you’ve listened to Morning Pill and think “My Song (Version 2.0)” seems familiar, you’re right. It is an updated version of “My Song”. Often times when an artist revisits and updates past songs, it doesn’t work but his version is an improvement, it’s a powerful club rocker.

At nine songs, Alexx Calise does not wear out her welcome and leaves you wanting more. I wish more albums would be this lean! She is becoming quite the accomplished singer just as capable to sound pretty over dance & pop beats as she is to let her voice soar over crunching guitars. Anyone who doesn’t mind a modern sound and enjoys melodic hard rock should find this an enjoyable listen.

Highlights: “Anything Goes”, “Cry”, “Get Used To It”, “Good Enough (The Dirty South Mix)”, “My Song (Version 2.0)”, “Out of Sight”

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