Tuesday, October 17, 2006

You wanted something more than this, fell down for someone else's kiss

At least in the U.S., Ryan Cabrera's music brings a lot of baggage with it. He was Ashlee Simpson's boyfriend (he also dated Lisa of the Veronicas, though few people in the U.S. would know who that was). He's what some people would call a "pretty boy" (in the sarcastic, snooty sense of the phrase that I really can't stand). His music could probably be used to accompany teen dramas; it's also very "boy with acoustic guitar." Unfortunately, all this kept me from listening to more than Ryan's singles on the radio for a few years. Luckily, I got over that and gave his first major release album, Take It All Away, a chance, and I am really glad I did--I'm still not going to speak for what he is like personally, but he (or whoever he works with) has come up with some good songs. I do have his second album, You Stand Watching (which I haven't listened to thoroughly yet, but I think it might have been a case of a rushed-out followup that doesn't live up to the previous album), and the indie album that preceded Take It All Away, Elm St., but Take It All Away has more than enough to occupy us for today.

On The Way Down--Ryan's debut single and the song he's probably most known for (although his ballad "True" might be similarly well-known). It's up-tempo and, though it's definitely got a guitar in it, it's not one of those minimal, guitar-only songs; more importantly, it's pretty catchy. It got decent airplay in the U.S. when it first came out--though apparently it only hit #15 on the Billboard charts, I remember hearing it a lot more than that would imply. The music video has Ashlee in it. (Contrary to what the Australian Idol announcer said when introducing Dean Geyer's performance of it, it is "On The Way Down," not "All The Way Down.")

Shame On Me--opening with an almost Latin-sounding guitar part, "Shame On Me" describes Ryan's attempts to pay attention to what a girl is saying while being constantly distracted by how gorgeous she is. Overall, it's a little faster than "On The Way Down." The title isn't that great, but the bridge and chorus are catchy. You could criticize the lyrics if you wanted to, but really, how can you go wrong with "I've always paid attention to your point of view/but now I want to focus on the rest of you"?

Exit To Exit--ahh, the teenage pathos. As in many of the songs on Take It All Away, "Exit To Exit" is about Ryan abandoned by a girl. I instinctively want to say it's a ballad, but it's not really--the chorus is just a little more ballad-like than it is in these other songs, I suppose. Once again, a really catchy chorus--I really can't argue with the boy's music on songs like this. If you like your strummy-acoustic-guitar-but-still-poppy pop, these are some great examples of it.

To buy Ryan Cabrera's debut album, Take It All Away, go here (physical) or here (digital).

On a side note, this may be the best week I know of for the U.S. iTunes' free music downloads. We normally get two a week, and we're lucky if one is half-decent. This week, though, we got Paolo Nutini's "New Shoes" and Robbie Williams's "Kiss Me"--I prefer Robbie's song, but they are both good or great (and from the UK!). Of course, the excitement is slightly dulled by the fact that I might have already had both of those songs--but still, it's exciting both because of the songs themselves and because of the hope it gives me as to what we might get in the future.

In further news of free legal downloads, Arjan Writes has Mika's "Relax (Take It Easy)," which, though it isn't quite as good as "Grace Kelly," is still a good song--worth paying money for, let alone getting for free--though I'm not quite sure how to categorize it either.

Next up: that certain Swedish singer, probably.


Simon Curtis said...

Hey you, hit me up with a message at my myspace,


I am rather flattered by your recent mention and your interest, so if you'd like some mp3s for an album review or something, hit me up and let me know!

Thanks so much again, really means more than you know.

Here's to keeping pop alive
---Simon :P

Paul said...

well you can't really follow that can you! I'm all for keeping pop alive :) (and i quite like ryan c as well although not on a must listen to frequently basis).

J'ason D'luv said...

I wonder if Ryan would consider dating Ashleeeee again, now that it appears as if she's had a new face screwed onto her head, since it would be like dating a totally new person?

Poster Girl said...

(I'd leave a message at your MySpace, but I don't actually have a MySpace account--I know, I know, I need to join the 21st century--so, on the off chance you check back, here's my message) Simon, I can't wait for your album's release--I'm truly, truly excited by it, and I hope my mentions will at least win it a little bit more publicity, because it is totally deserving of being incredibly successful. If you do want to send me some mp3's, I'd love that, but I'm looking forward to getting my hands (metaphorically speaking, since it'll be a digital release) on that album!

Paul--wow! Speaking of keeping pop alive, your post today was incredible! I'll go leave further comments on it, though :)

J'ason, that was less harsh than I expected, given your feelings towards Ashlee! If she was successful enough to merit it, I can only imagine what a Banterview about her would be like.

J'ason D'luv said...

Now why the f*** didn't I ever think of that? Thanks, Pop Poster Girl!!