Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

MATTHEW RYAN VS. THE SILVER STATE

Matthew Ryan Vs. The Silver State

2008-05-05

Matthew Ryan gets rockier with a bunch of musical compatriots in this set of anthems, sounding like he's fronting a band rather than a solo act accompanied by background musicians. The result, some reviewers say, is a Tom Petty sound-alike. I find MRVSS much closer to Bono and U2 because of the decidedly more emotional delivery -- and, in some cases, larger themes. The opener, "Dulce Et Decorum Est" brings in a fiddle early on that sets that Irish-sounding tone and then the second number, "American Dirt," seals the deal -- Bono, not Petty. "It Could've Been Worse" and "Closing In" are also standouts. Ryan makes a smart move forming this group; he's like Springsteen finding his E Street Band. MJVD 05/08 R-Roots

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