Alex Izenberg


I’m Not Heree is an album perched in voyeuristic distance. Obscuring its visions through the glazed glass of high windows, it’s steeped equally in longing for connection and repulsion at proximity. The record rolls in the rumpled self-induced seclusion of the early ‘70s, a time when many artists began to retreat inward from the overwhelming crumble of their own particular corners. Izenberg is blessed with the kind of weeklong five-o-clock shadow sigh of Randy Newman or Harry Nilsson, but creeping though the twilight hackles of JJ Cale in his peak wide-eyed night demon prowl.

The tone on the album shifts, a series of personas that flicker and fade. Izenberg inhabits each with a convincing calm — lacerating the soul one minute as he refracts riffs off of the stained glass ashtrays ground into the studio corners, crying with the grey-morning pluck and yawn of strings the next. Those strings come courtesy of Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors, and he lends a nice guiding hand to the emotional heft curling in the edges of the album. Izenberg is a masterful songwriter, a chameleon of pop and an argument for pulling away from the world to let the songs exhume the last stitches of the soul. There’s a weariness to I’m Not Here, and honestly that feeling is paramount to living in 2022. Izenberg provides a long hard stare at the horizon, squinting until the haze takes hold, blotting out the details we can’t bear to examine. Those details never leave, though, and they writhe beneath the surface of this sedated monster.

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