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Now Hear This: Abacus - Ben Ryan

Rating: ***1/2

Ben Ryan is a singer-songwriter from the city of glass, Vancouver, BC. I've listened to a lot of singer-songwriter types in my day and I gotta say, it gets kinda old. The same handsome guy that is way sadder than he should be. Its pretty standard fare usually.

I look at Ben Ryan and I think "here we go again" Is he handsome? Yep. Is he gonna be sad? I don't know, but probably yeah. Will I listen to it anyway and try to be fair? You know it.

Let's get sad y'all!

Listen to "Abacus" on Soundcloud below:

The first track is called "Peru" and a few things are obvious right off the bat: Dude can sing, he's not super sad, he's kinda sad though. It's a good little song actually. Catchy in that way that it probably won't be a hit, but you'll always wonder why it wasn't. Track two is called "Never Go" and it's got a nice piano intro. He kinda reminds me of Duncan Sheik. He's likable and talented but there isn't anything that says "this guy is a star!" The song is solid though. "Gold" is next and it has a Snow Patrol vibe to it. It's indie funk and it's a good look for him. This might be my favorite track so far. "Home" has a Billy Joel sound to it. It's got melody for days. He can write a tune for sure. The penultimate track is called "Roof & Rain" and it's a love song. The lyrics are earnest and he spins the web nicely. Another solid track. "Diamond Mine" is last and it's cute and kitschy. This album wasn't that sad after all.

Ben Ryan is good. He's good at singing and writing songs and he's probably pretty good at most things he tries. That's what this album is. It's good. It isn't great though. Just really good.

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