At Last My Dear
Ignoring the conventions of commercial pop music, Canadian indie artist Ryan Ro combines garage-band energy with indy introspection and comes up with an emotional 10-track rocker in At Last My Dear. Ro makes no conscious attempt to emulate any of the musical flavors of the month, which is good – we get to hear who exactly who Ryan is without the shadow of any established artists getting in the way. A well-mixed blend of acoustic and electric instruments, At Last My Dear has got that great small-band sound from beginning to end. Mostly rock (and quite powerfully rocking at times), there are also a few more introspective, quiter moments. Ro lets it all hang out emotionally, with lyrics that range from tender to angry, searing guitar attacks and aggressive drums patterns. If there’s any comparison to be made at all, it would be to compare Ro’s vulnerable vocals to those of FreeSlave’s Haydon Spenceley, who’s emotional pain was one of the most notable things in that band’s brief history. Ending appropriately with a ‘glory, glory, amen,’ Ro caps off the final bit of self examination on a hopeful note. At Last My Dear leaves Ro poised to go in any number of directions next time – a good place for an artist to be….
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