Rocket is Alex G’s 8th full-length—an assured statement that follows a slate of humble masterpieces, stretching to his 2015 Domino debut, Beach Music. Amid recording, Alex made headlines for catching the attention of Frank Ocean; playing guitar on his two 2016 albums, Endless and Blonde. More than stylistic cues, what Alex took from the experience was a confidence in collaboration. Rocket wears this collaborative spirit proudly, and in its numerous contributors presents a restless sense of musical experimentation, effortlessly jumping from sound collage to dreamy folk to bouncing Americana.
Robert Dwayne "Bobby" Womack is an American singer-songwriter and musician. An active recording artist since the early 1960s where he started his career as the lead singer of his family musical group The Valentinos and as Sam Cooke's backing guitarist, Womack's career has spanned more than 50 years and has spanned a repertoire in the styles of R&B, soul, rock and roll, doo-wop, gospel, and country. In 2009, Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
It's a tribute to Bobby Caldwell's consummate songwriting skills that his three original compositions – including the previously recorded, melancholy would-be classic "Stuck on You" – fit in perfectly alongside standards by the likes of Cole Porter and Sammy Cahn/Jimmy Van Heusen on the very tradition-minded Blue Condition. Best known for easygoing R&B-flavored adult pop vocals, Caldwell reaches back and superimposes himself in front of lively big-band arrangements that recall classic Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Bobby Darin recordings. He never approaches those idols in terms of vocal distinction, but that doesn't seem to be his point. He's more reflecting upon his inspirations than trying to emulate them, rewarding longtime fans with the sort of artistry they suspected might exist all along. The uninitiated, however, might enjoy all the surrounding pleasantries and wonder why we need another guy out there doing classics when he clearly doesn't measure up to those standards vocally.