Ryan Star – 11:59
August 3, 2010
Ryan Star may sound as a newcomer to the music scene to you, but that’s far from true. Playing in several bands before coming a solo outfit, Star released an album in 2005, participated in the reality show ‘Rock Star: Supernova’ on which he managed to get national attention and even recorded a live album with the band from the show.
His career obviously got a boost out of that experience and his song Brand New Day was chosen as the lead tune for the highly successful TV show ‘Lie To Me’. In 2009, Star released a short EP containing four songs from his upcoming album and later on he released his first single off “11:59”, called Breathe.
After several delays, “11:59” finally saw the light and with a sold out release show, Star managed to get this thing going right away. But lets take a closer look to the songs on the album. Does Star manage to stand out, is he able to meet up with his peers and what is it that makes this artist so interesting to the masses.
“11:59” is a varied and stable modern rock album that has a good balance between more outspoken rock & roll and softer ballads. It starts off with the infectious Brand New Day which was already used in the TV show ‘Lie To Me’. It’s a tune that people recognize and therefore they can get right into this album. The angsty, uptempo Right Now keeps the mystery and Star shows he’s capable of building up tension in a song and working to a climax.
Last Train Home and Breathe are emotional modern rock anthems and so is the U2-esque This Could Be The Year. Maybe you need to throw in a touch of Depeche Mode. The intensity and musicality in these songs shows Star is a gifted new star on the front how can vary in intensity, depth and has quite a vocal range and more importantly, excellent vocal control.
With the catchy Unbreak and forward moving Start A Fire, Star produces two possible singles for rock radio. The songs stick with you and thankfully they do not sound like another version of the songs we hear on the radio already. And with the piano song Losing Your Memory, but even more with the album closer 11:59, Star shows he’s not done yet. Losing Your Memory is a change of pace but on 11:59, perhaps Star’s best song on this new album, this young man shows he’s here to stay. The vocal control, the power and the conviction is there.
“11:59” is a strong album, and sure, there are a couple things Star could improve on. But already, he is a varied, capable and intelligent young musician and it seems he has a bright future ahead of him. It took him 5 years since his last studio album, but with the success this album is likely to bring him, I doubt the fans will have to wait that long again. “11:59”, a little surprisingly, is one of the more balanced and interesting modern rock albums of this year.
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