Album Review: Alex & Sierra’s “As Seen On TV”

Alex & Sierra, the Floridian couple who made a name for themselves on the X-Factor, debuted a new EP, As Seen On TV, at the end of September. The album is a mix of new originals and covers that they’ve performed previously. The group, made up of Sierra Deaton and Alex Kinsey, had been dropped from Syco in 2015 and had been creatively quiet since but, they seem to have bounced back quickly and are back stronger than ever.

As Seen On TV opens with a bluesy cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic”. The vocals are nothing short of sultry and molasses smooth as the pair croon over soulful acoustic guitar thrums and jazzy piano notes. Though the record slows down with a beautifully melodic version of the typically peppy “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease, Alex & Sierra have you dancing again with their version of the Destiny’s Child hit “Say My Name”. So many covers of this song end up sounding like they are lacking in some way (Destiny’s Child is a tough act to follow) but, these two nailed it. They kept just enough of the unique sound that brought so much attention to the original while still bringing their own flare to the table. On the heels of that fiery rendition, are two slower covers of Great Big World’s “Say Something” and Sara Bareilles’ heartbreaking song “Gravity”. The pair have absolutely rocked each of these songs previously and they do not disappoint this time around either. Both artists do incredible vocally throughout the EP but, Kinsey and Deaton truly shine on “Gravity”, singing with a pleading, rawness that has you near tears.

Alex & Sierra made their name on the covers they graced the X-Factor stage with but, the pair have a gift for producing original songs as well. “Take Me” and “You Will Find Me” are two tracks that bleed together effortlessly. Listening close, you hear a question in the first that so many are afraid to ask: what’s inside your mind? In the latter, you hear both the answer we are scared to give and the outcome we never expected: You leave room for my imperfections; I’m a mess and you jump right in. “Take Me” perfectly paints the struggle of trying to get someone to show you what’s inside their mind, the fight of getting them to believe you want to see every part of them. “You Will Find Me” is a hopeful song by the hopeless romantic that finally found someone that truly anchors them and never leaves them behind, no matter how rough the waters get. The song is genuinely thankful and loving without any tooth rotting sweetness, and it perfectly follows the slightly unsure, yearning tone of “Take Me.” Whether they know it or not, Alex & Sierra offered a beacon of hope with this track that screams “There is someone out there, may it be a friend or a lover or both, who will weather your storms with you! You are not alone! It’s possible!”

The album’s closing song, “Animals,” is a storytelling, honest ballad. “Animals” certainly has an aggrieved undertone but, there isn’t a stitch of petulance or spite to the lyrics at all. The video that was released on October 24th is mostly focused on light and played out in dancing shadows.

The video seems to be a view at “celebrity” from the celebrity perspective, how many entertainers are treated like animals in a zoo by most of the general population. In the end, one of the shadows starts to be pulled down and devoured by the hoards below them but, their companion pulls them out of the depths. The song and the video both end up centering right back on the small inner circle or partner that pulls you back when others are trying to claw you away. “Animals” captures the same idea as Taylor Swift’s “I Know Places” but, focuses less on finding a place to hide away from the masses and more the need to protect the love and trust cultivated in the two previous tracks, on a right to privacy.

This album actually offers the best of both worlds: songs you can dance to, songs you can cry to, and songs that incite a bit of both. As Seen On TV is only comprised of eight tracks but don’t fret! On a recent Reddit Ask Me Anything Session, Alex and Sierra let fans know that this EP is something to tide us over while they continue working on a full length album. Until then, As Seen On TV is the perfect record to play wherever you find yourself this fall.

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