Matthew Ryan - Matthew Ryan Vs. The Silver State
While Matthew Ryan continues to struggle with his Greg Dulli fetish, this new one explores a wider range of styles than on previous efforts. It is a mournful and slightly defiant, as opposed to fiery release. Rather than the confrontation the title might obscurely imply, here Ryan embraces states of loss and disconnect in bed and in country.
"Dulce Et Decorum Est" and "It Could Have Been Worse" channel the jaded noir of Dulli, while the mournful piano of the dramatic "Closing In" and the jaundiced "American Dirt" flirt with honky tonk. The only real rocker is the magnificent "Hold on Firefly," with its distorted, slightly buried in the mix Husker-y guitars. Ryan can deliver lines poetic but not fey, knowing but not smart-ass. That honesty saves many a song from sinking in dramatic arrangements that often bury the band. But in terms of assurance and broadening of his sonic world and his list of moral complaints, "Matthew Ryan Vs. The Silver State" is a big leap forward for Ryan.
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