It was back in February of last year when I watched Ryan Star win over a theater full of David Cook fans. He gave an amazing performance that completely entertained the audience. Then after the show, I sat in the lobby and watched him win over even more fans as he took the time to talk to everyone who came up to him.
Ryan was flying high, thanks to his tour pairing with David and because his new album, “11:59,” was coming out later that fall. But “11:59” never came and I admit I started to get worried for the guy that had won me over as well.
Fast forward to a year later, and thankfully, Ryan is once again flying high. His constant touring is paying off as “Breathe” has become a genuine radio and video hit. And more importantly, “11:59” is finally in stores. And it is well worth the wait…
The CD kicks off with the strongest block of songs I’ve heard on a CD in quite a while. You’re immediately hit with the catchy “oh-ohs” of “Brand New Day,” the theme to “Lie to Me.” But before you can lose your buzz, you get hit with the anthem, “Right Now.” It always makes me want to run a marathon—until I remember I’m not capable of doing that…
Then comes the classic, “Last Train Home,” which is still in heavy rotation on my iPod. How in the world this song wasn’t used in every TV drama coming and going I will never understand. It should’ve been a huge smash. That’s followed by the song that is quickly becoming a smash, “Breathe.” I love a soaring chorus that transports you somewhere else and “Breathe” completely delivers. That’s followed by another of my favorite musical traits, an aching ballad, called “We Might Fall.” The haunting “This Could Be the Year” and the Five For Fighting meets Lifehouse “Unbreak” close out the block.
Ryan hits his first misstep with “Start a Fire” and even it’s not a bad song. The lyrics just ring a little cheesy for me. Ryan returns to his beautifully haunting form with “Losing Your Memory,” which features a bagpipe sound. And “11:59” perfectly closes out the CD with its continuously building melody.
The deluxe version on iTunes contains three solid bonus tracks: the pop-leaning “You and Me,” the slow-building anthem “Gonna Make It Right” and the flat-out rocker, “Back of Your Car.”
When you’re as impatient as I am, you don’t like to wait for anything. But sometimes it takes a while to get something just right. And clearly that’s the case here. If extra time is what Ryan needed to make such a solid CD, then I’m okay with it.
Some things are just worth waiting for…
“11:59” is available in stores and online now…Photo Credit: Atlantic Records