Some people might be surprised to learn that frontman for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros—you know, the guy with the wild hair and matching dance moves—isn’t actually named Edward Sharpe. He’s Alex Ebert, and his first solo record, Alexander, wants to make sure you know just that. The record won’t be foreign territory for fans of the indie-folk collective, but does draw on a broader range of influences than did the band’s Up From Below, including tracks that echo the sensibilities of music’s two most famous Bobs – Dylan (“In the Twilight,” “Bad Bad Love”) and Marley (“Awake My Body”).
Taking a worldlier approach than with the Zeros, Ebert’s solo material is reminiscent of a more accessible Devendra Banhart, especially on “Old Friend,” with its simple, Eastern-inspired instrumentation and chant-like background harmonies. Other standout tracks include whimsical opener “Let’s Win!” and slow crooner “Glimpses.” On Alexander, Ebert proves he’s just as capable on his own as he is sharing a stage with nine other musicians.