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CD Reviews - Ryan Star
Ryan Star: 11:59
August 2010
By: Lauren Jonik
album cover of Ryan Star's 11:59

Breathe. . . Just breathe / Let the life that you life be all that you need singer Ryan Star powerfully directs in the first single from his debut full-length album 11:59. Indeed it is an album of open-ended answers, of Post-It notes of certainty captured along the journey and of forward motion-- both musically and lyrically. The work of discovering one's authentic path always traverses through valleys and over peaks, but is only propelled by a willingness to embark and to devote time not only to honing one's craft, but to the art of living itself-- wherever that may lead. Ryan Star aptly captures these sentiments. In Brand New Day, he sings They say that we're dreaming too big /I say this town's too small . . . I need to break out and make a new name /Let's open our eyes to a brand new day. Filled with the energy of mid-to-upper-twenties youth, Star's music reveals that he knows that his life is now-- and he is ready. This inner knowledge that seeps into the vocals added both energy and strength to his vocals.

But, this is not a journey that Star necessarily wants to travel alone. In Last Train Home, he tells a lover that he will be her "last train home" if she'll wait for him. I'll be the light in the dark when you lose your way. . ./I'll be forever, wait for me /I'll be the last train home. Relationships in the grandest sense of the word play a prominent theme in Unbreak and Start A Fire. The physicality of love--or lust--drives the lyrics of Start A Fire as Star belts Here we go /Just lose control and let your body give in /To the beat /Of your heart as my hand touches your skin.

In the title track, Ryan Star paints the picture of the arrival of those rare times when a momentary decision will unquestioningly alter the course of life-- directed only by the next thought, word and heartbeat. She wears a locket with her name. /She's waiting for the right one to give it away /She pulls the hair back from her face /She's looking at me and we're flying away. Star implores Please, don't leave /This could be the best time of our lives, tonight /You and me /Don't let the moment pass by /Put the windows down and drive away. As the clock is on the brink of doing what it does best: moving forward, Star is an artist whose time has come through doing what he does best through his music: moving with it.