From the beginning, former child star Alexz Johnson has pursued music. Known for early roles on CTV’s “Instant Star” and Disney Channel’s “So Weird,” Johnson has largely fallen away from the public spotlight. In 2010, she released her first full-length album, “Voodoo.”
The album went largely unnoticed. In 2012, Johnson once again tried her hand in music with her extended play, “Skipping Stone,” which received little to no attention. Now Johnson has released a second EP, “Heart.”
The resulting four songs are a huge step up from Johnson’s previous work. With a more individual and less-produced sound, “Heart” shares inflections with pop, country, blues and gospel genres. And perhaps with these new ventures, the 27-year-old will be able to gain a little recognition.
The best track on “Heart,” is “This is Heartache.” It plays confidently, like “Home” by Phillip Phillips or Orianthi’s “According To You.” The song will register as an anthem, showcasing powerful vocals by Johnson and backed choruses.
The lead single off of “Heart” is “American Dreamer.” Slower than “This is Heartache,” “American Dreamer,” builds itself up, slow at first, then faster as it becomes a catchy and soulful tune. Sounding more country than pop, “American Dreamer” is perfect for warm summer nights around the campfire.
Another track on the album, titled “Nothin’ On Me,” is reflective of a more country/inspirational sound. Like most feel-good music, the background vocals play throughout, similar to a gospel choir. And like the track before it, “Nothin’ On Me” plays on much of the anthem-theme that is present throughout the EP.
Lastly, there is “Thank You For Breaking My Heart.” More soulful than the other songs, this track begins stripped down with a simple beat. As the album’s truest ballad, “Thank You For Breaking My Heart” is sweet-sounding and pleasant.
Like Kelly Clarkson with a more rugged feel, Alexz Johnson’s newest EP is classic, yet original. From track to track, “Heart” definitely has heart. The persistence that takes over and develops the EP helps Johnson and her tracks stand out.