Ladies and gentlemen, meet Alex & Sierra. Winners of the third (and final) season of ‘X Factor USA’, they’re a duo both in their personal and professional lives, adding an interesting layer to their debut LP ‘It’s About Us’.
First single ‘Scarecrow’ is basically Taylor Henderson if he roped in his girlfriend. Like Taylor, Alex & Sierra spend most of their album blurring the lines between country pop and indie pop.
‘Cheating’, for example, sounds like a bad Tim McGraw/Faith Hill duet.
‘Little Do You Know’, the album’s second single, is pure indie-pop, with stirring instrumentation that builds into quite the crescendo.
For something a little faster, ‘Here We Go’ has an almost 1980s stadium feel about it with its heavy drums and synthy guitars.
‘Give Me Something’ is a pretty good mash up of the aforementioned country and indie influences, with beautiful harmonies to boot.
Indeed, the couple’s natural harmonies are the selling point of the album. Both are great singers on their own but this is very much a case of the whole being more than the sum of its parts. Let’s just say Alex should avoid high notes such as the one he attempts to go for on ‘Back To You’.
Lyrically, the majority of the songs on here are meant to reflect Alex and Sierra’s real life relationship, though sometimes it seems a little forced.
An obvious example of this is the Harry Styles (using a pseudonym) co-written ‘I Love You’. Yes it has nice harmonies and touching strings, but it doesn’t really stand out from the rest of the pack.
Better is the deceivingly catchy ‘Just Kids’ with its bouncy guitar and ‘la la la’ post-chorus section.
Whilst male/female duos don’t seem to last, for every H & Claire there’s a Sonny & Cher.
There’s certainly enough on ‘It’s About Us’ to suggest that there is long term potential but only time will tell.
Download: Here We Go, Little Do You Know, Just Kids.