Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Ryan Cabrera-Take It All Away (2004)


It's been quite a long time since I last tuned in to the local soft rock radio channels; these days, I'm opting for my favorite CD's and/or my usual eclectic music mixes saved on my digital audio playlists. If I were to turn on the FM dials again, I'm sure that Ryan Cabrera's "On The Way Down" would be part of the radio DJ's listening lineup at some point. That's how I first got acquainted with the talented singer/songwriter, though with a lot of my favorite radio hits I enjoyed in the early 2000's, it wouldn't be until I truly listened and paid attention to the lyrics years later when the whole meaning of the song would hit me. Underneath the terrific contemporary pop/rock sound is a wonderful story about a man who was lost, but got found through another woman's love. The opening line sets the theme and grips you right away: 'sick and tired of this old world'. But thankfully, love kept him alive and from falling all the way down. Love the regular radio version, but the acoustic version, which concludes this "Take It All Away" album of his, is even more touching with its softer charm. It's the warming acoustic side of him that I'm particularly drawn to, as evidenced by how I had immediately found a liking for the follow-up piece entitled "True". Not a cover of the memorable SPANDAU BALLET classic (as the 80's music lover in me had been quick to predict), but the words still make for a beautiful tribute to the one love of his life who has been truer than anyone or anything else he's ever met. "40 Kinds Of Sadness": wow, that's a lot of sadness, isn't it? The title is sure to capture your attention first, followed by the edgy, hard rock sound and the accompanying lyrics of how heartbroken he feels—in so many different ways that he can't even describe—to match. "Echo Park" is one of those wake-up-out-of-bed radio-friendly songs that will stay stuck inside your head all day long; it's the whole dreaminess of the melody and his lofty vocals while he tells the story. Something else that will get stuck to you to: the offering Ryan simply entitles "She's". Yet another beautiful display of warming guitar acoustics, though bittersweet when you take in the melancholy mood. Make that forty-one kinds of sadness, then, continuing with the theme from this album's fifth track, but the listener will be filled with joy when this innocently-sounding gem emerges into quite the powerful, emotional performance as the intensity of the music grows and grows. Even more sadness expressed on "Illusions"? Or is there a bit of angst in what he has to say this time? Perhaps a combination of both, as his inspiring words of leaving false images behind and redirecting his focus to other things of this world that really matter is sure to stir up thoughts of inner change. So take it from me: Ryan Cabrera's "Take It All Away" is one that you will definitely want to take with you on your next contemporary soft rock adventure:

1. Let's Take Our Time
2. On The Way Down
3. True
4. Exit To Exit
5. 40 Kinds Of Sadness
6. Echo Park
7. Take It All Away
8. Shame On Me
9. She's
10. Illusions
11. Blind Sight
12. On The Way Down [Acoustic Version]

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