In his most recent music video, "Colors In Bloom," artist Lex Allen sings while surrounded by green plants. He's wearing a fabulous fluffy coat that looks like roses while flowers wreathe on his head like a crown, and it's these colorful images of him that enhance the playful, upbeat nature of the song, particularly the opening lyrics: "Every shade of me, I'll let you see...I'm feeling so feminine, masculine, confident."
Not only do these lyrics set the tone for "Colors In Bloom," but they also perfectly sum up who Lex Allen is as a musical artist. He is very versatile, seamlessly combining '70s pop with dashes of hip-hop, electronica, and R&B. He also has a nice vocal range that can go from a soulful tenor to a falsetto while moving from song to song or from verse to chorus.
Lex Allen has honed this prowess as part of the popular Milwaukee artist collective New Age Narcissism, which features artists like alternative soul singer Siren and rapper Webster X. He has also channeled personal and artistic influences that includes Whitney Houston, his older brother James, and his late mother Pam.
After a few years working the Milwaukee music circuit, Lex Allen released his debut music album Table 7: Sinners and Saints on earlier this month. As a Black, queer musical artist, it can be tempting to simply compare him to contemporaries like Le1f and Mykki Blanco. Yet, Lex Allen also has shades of '70s music icon Sylvester in his work.
When it comes to what sets Lex Allen apart from the rest, it has to do with how his music and performance style bridges the past and the present. When performing live, there is a theatrical aspect to his voice that allows him to act out the lyrics even as he sings them. For example, a performance of the electronica-dance track "Tap For Likes" involves him mocking the shallow nature of social media with not only the lyrics, but also ditzy dialogue.
In addition to combining the old with the new, there is an authentic aspect to Lex Allen's music that is both fun and personal. "Colors In Bloom" is an empowering pop track that serves to encourage LGBTQ people to embrace themselves. A similar track entitled "Venus and Serena" uses EDM influences and features a music video where everybody is treating the tennis court like their own personal runaway as they serve looks.
Meanwhile, Lex Allen's personal side can been seen in both his upbeat songs as well as his ballads. "Cream and Sugar" is a '70s style dance track that oozes sensuality and queerness that's especially palpable at the chorus. Two ballads that Allen has released, "Mama's Boy" and "Never Look Back," show a more vulnerable side to Allen that is enhanced by his incredible vocals.
According to a Journal Sentinel interview, Lex Allen's debut album Table 7: Sinners and Saints is an album where everybody has a place.
"The name Table 7 comes from when we would have dinner at 7 and everything would be out on the table," Allen explains. If Lex Allen's past work is any indication, Lex Allen is gearing up to be a welcoming, positive force in music.
Lex Allen's debut album, Table 7: Sinners and Saints, is out now! Stream it below and check out on his official Soundcloud page for more!