Alee – Say Hello to Goodbye

Wednesday 08th, July 2015 / 19:21
By Jamie McNamara

aleeWax Records

“He was constant, always stayed the same, seasons came and went, but he never changed.” This is a lyric from “Moonshine,” the second single taken from Edmonton country musician Alee’s EP Say Hello to Goodbye. As written, it functions as a schmaltzy chorus, but sadly it can also be read as a type of meta-commentary on the state of pop country music in 2015. Country music, at least the variety passed off on radio, is usually formulaic. Heartbreaks, tailgates, tight jeans and getting black out drunk are some of the few topics that get bandied around. That’s not to say that country music needs to be a highbrow affair, but it should at least be fun to listen to. Say Hello to Goodbye is a solid example of what happens when country isn’t “fun.”

Sonically, the EP sounds clean and polished to the point that all character is stripped away. The tracks seem trapped in a musical purgatory located somewhere between commercial rock and mid-2000s hip hop. It’s a not-so-flattering brand of hick-hop that somehow manages to sound badly dated upon first listen. It’s not until the last track on the EP Alee finds some success with “Only the Strong Survive.” The track features a triumphant, sing-along chorus that is undeniably catchy. The song is pop country at its finest… if only the rest of the EP followed suit.