Student Music Review: Alex Clare - Too Close. Improve student literacyAlex who? That was probably the question coming out of many people’s mouths until a few months ago. Alexander George Claire is a 26 year old singer/songwriter from London who has suddenly risen to stardom after having his track ‘Too Close’ used as the soundtrack on the Internet Explorer TV advert in May this year. Many were thinking that this is Clare’s breakthrough single, but in fact it is the second single released from Clare’s debut album ‘The Lateness of the Hour.’

In an era where many artists climb to fame through either grabbing a lucky break or entering a television contest, you would have thought that this talented Brit would have been a household name by now, bearing in mind that Radio 1 DJ Reggie Yates made Clare’s cover of Prince’s classic 80’s single ‘When Doves Dry’ his Song of the Day. A more astonishing fact is that Clare didn’t receive any media attention when he was dating the late Amy Winehouse for a year. So, third time lucky, the soloist is finally getting the credit he deserves from getting his tune onto a major advert. Following the ad, ‘Too Close’ went straight upto number one in the German charts and peaked at number 4 in the UK charts on the 16th of May.

Growing up in a household of jazz music where Clare listened to idols such as Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, it’s surprising that this has led him into the Drum and Bass and UK Garage scenes. Clare’s debut album The Lateness Of The Hour has a mix of styles from dubstep to some reggae vibes and acoustic songs with powerful vocals, but the most shocking thing is that due to the lack of promotion the album was a ‘flop’ and Universal Island promptly dropped Clare from their label.

The song ‘Too Close’ features powerful vocals with a light instrumental in the verses and a great hook until the chorus kicks in and some heavy dubstep enters in the background. If you are reading this without hearing the song that may sound like a complete musical disaster but it’s only when you listen to it carefully that you realise that it is very far from it. Thanks to the Internet Explorer advert, I’m hoping for a lot more from this young man and I’m positive that another label will snap up the talented solo star sooner rather than later.