Alexander 23 Gets Experimental and Sentimental with "Dirty AF1s"
By: Tommy Rodriguez
Alexander 23 packs a roundhouse kick of emotions in a short yet sweet little track.
Some genius from the Renaissance said that brevity was the soul of wit; while I believe that he was referring to acting, the same applies to good music as well. Sometimes all you need to deliver a great song is a great instrumental and lyrical topic, and you can succeed. “Dirty AF1s”, the latest song from Alexander 23, is a perfect example of this; with a solid instrumental and a great sentiment embedded in its songwriting, it’s a must listen!
Instrumentally, “Dirty AF1s” is surprisingly experimental in its execution. The main skeleton of the beat is composed mainly of a dreary horn loops that lingers over Alexander’s pained vocals like a perfectly gray raincloud. It serves as an excellent backdrop for the emotional tale penned by Alexander, nicely supplemented with some forceful percussion that has an odd groove to it, but sounds great all the same. “Dirty AF1s” sounds like a dreary pop mix inspired by some of the more depressed cuts on any number of Brockhampton albums, but maintains its own identity with some subtle vocal layering and a relatable, youthful energy that manages to be both mellow and tangible.
While the instrumental side of the track is great as is, “Dirty AF1s” truly shines bright in the pen game on display. Alexander 23 perfectly captures the obsessive, depressed nature many feel when a loved one goes away; oftentimes the most random things remind us of happier days, such as the toothbrush and titular shoes mentioned throughout the track. The melody of the refrains on the track is instantly catchy, further demonstrating 23’s great pop sensibilities on a vulnerable record. 23’s performance matches the emotional weight of the lyrics bar for bar; his voice is defeated, quiet yet altogether pleasant and gripping.
The fact that all of the great qualities of this track are accomplished in a two minute song is truly a testament of why sometimes you don’t need a monolith of a song to make an hard hitting ballad. Maybe all you need to make a great song is a great instrumental, well written lyrics, and a pair of dirty Air Force 1s. Give “Dirty AF1s” and Alexander 23 a shot!