Our Album Spotlight shines on the Mike Ryan Band, following the release of their album “Bad Reputation” earlier this week. As I listened to the album, the same descriptive word kept popping in to my head, “honed”. The album offers complete concepts, crisp production (Brent Anderson & Ben Phillips), and smooth vocals. I had a hard time believing it was only Ryan’s sophomore album, as the album’s swagger seems to be one of a music scene veteran.
The album starts with “Wasting No More Whiskey”, a song of heartbreak and resurgence. You get a taste (no pun intended) of Ryan’s skilled songwriting as he victoriously sings “I’d sure love to drink it, but that’s something I won’t do, cuz I aint wasting no more whiskey on you”.
The title track, “Bad Reputation”, exposes Ryan’s amorous side. A chorus of harmony and full musical instrumentation, the production pops off the track, as the lyrics tell us that even the biggest playboys eventually fall in love and ruin their “bad reputation”.
The album’s current single, “Dancing All Around It” is #11 on the Texas Regional Radio Report, and #13 on the Texas Music Chart (and is still climbing)! I have to admit this is one we completely missed in our Single Spotlight, as it would have easily been featured! The track displays Ryan’s smooth vocals and his ability to relay a complexity of emotions. We think this one is easily headed inside the Top 5.
Our *PICKS* of the album are “Easy” and “When I Drink Beer”
“Easy” – What makes this song so great is its ability to be a love song and appeal to both men and women. Men are generally pretty easy-going, and we really don’t care what we do, if we’re with the people we want to be with. Ryan encapsulates this with lines like “I can to take you to a movie, I can take you downtown, or I can take you straight upstairs” & “All I really want to do is be with you, it doesn’t matter where we are”. Bringing smooth vocals over mellow music, this is a good one to add to the “romantic playlist” that you bring out when you’re trying to create that “mood”.
“When I Drink Beer” –The track tells of the hurt that often comes from being unable to put the bottle down. Ryan’s soul-baring lyrics, “when I drink beer, I know what happens, I seen it happen 100 times before”, connect with the listener, as we all know we have our faults and sometimes become our own worst enemies. We bury our demons with a vice, only to have them arise the next day. This is one that can really just be summed up with 4 words “a damn good song.”
Throughout the rest of the album, Ryan sings about darker side of things (Putting Off Telling Me Goodbye), the adventurous side (Dry Country Drive), shows off his vocal ability (But Why) and polished writing (Red Eye Flight). Overall, it’s a great album! It’s definitely one worth checking out!
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Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I’am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.