4. Come Together
5. Break Me
6. All On You
8. Give It All Away
9. Lose Yourself
10. Armor Of God
Patrick Ryan Clark, formerly of Surviving August, releases his solo debut, Translation. An album in the tradition of Goo Goo Dolls, Graham Colton, Vertical Horizon, & Matchbox20, this might well be one of the best independent mainstream pop/rock albums of 2006!
The title track, Translation, sets the mood immediately. This Goo Goo Dolls-ish song is a powerful and excellently performed. This song would’ve been PERFECT for the movie “Lost In Translation”. If they ever re-release that or do a remake they should definitely consider it.
Aftermath reminds me a little bit of Death Cab For Cutie, especially in the early stages of the song. Patrick Ryan Clark, however, gives it a spin of his own and with his clear and powerful vocals he gives it his everything.
Then we hear Heaven. One of the best songs on the album, and definitely a candidate to be a single. (“we all want to get to Heaven, but we don’t want to die, and our time is up running, if you want to live this life, you got to learn how to die”) Here the man shows he’s a very gifted lyricist as well.
Come Together, with a perfomance that rivals Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20, Patrick Ryan Clark sings this song with all his heart and soul. Also musically this song is in the same stretch of the genre as Matchbox 20’s music. Which should be considered a compliment, since Matchbox 20 is not only one of the most successful groups in the genre, they are also one of the best.
The next song, Break Me, impressed me deeply. I can hear a little Death Cab in it again, but mostly this is Patrick Ryan Clark in top form. Some great use of samples and a great diversity in sound. Perfect alternative pop/rock song, yet still fit for mainstream channels.
All On You, which is another possible single. At first I was gonna compare this with the Goo Goo Dolls, which is still what I think comes closest. But it’s not really Goo Goo Dolls-ish. The almost fragile, yet still powerful vocals definitely rival Johnny Rzeznik’s though. Also, there’s some excellent drumming on this track. Everything falls together on this track. One of the strongest on the album.
The album continues with the beautiful, stripped down Mercy. This really shows how good Patrick Ryan Clark’s vocals are. This intimate, personal song, full of self-reflection is a gem on the CD that I think deserves a lot of credit.
Give It All Away, is a little more alternative and somewhat reminds me of Vertical Horizon & Tracy Chapman. Here Patrick shows, that he masters this side of the genre perfectly too. Great guitar work too.
The energetic, uptempo Lose Yourself, is a great powerpop track. I bet this must be a fun track to do live, cause of the energy and because it’s a great sing along. Slightly reminds me of Acceptance, Nevertheless, or Time & Distance.
Patrick ends the album with the folky Armor of God. This track might have impressed me the most, musically. Although I do miss a fiddle. But he’s performing like a male Alison Krauss. Great guitar work and super strong vocals. Amazing track!
Patrick Ryan Clark delivers a splendid debut album. The songs really fit together as an album, and although one might think that some of the songs have a similar sound, that is also the strength of this CD. One track flows into the next flawlessly. The CD is also well-produced and shows great musicianship and professionalism. And “Translation” is only the beginning. Wait for more to come, because there is more in store for Patrick Ryan Clark, if you ask me.