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Ryan, Jimmy: Astral Cafe

Guitarist Jimmy Ryan’s latest release Astral Café has a number of rocking instrumental tracks that firmly fall into a hard/classic rock categorization. A fine ear for melody, the playing is tasteful, tuneful, and show Ryan a most capable player and writer. The opening “Starlord” is a rocker, but takes you through different motifs, and Ryan even sneaks a little wah-wah into the mix, having those different tones keeps your ears interested. “Shatterbrain” has a great opening riff, and the bass keeps that undercurrent as Ryan puts another tasteful lead melody over the top. This track shows many facets of Ryan’s playing, never overplaying, and his tone towards the end has a Hendrix vibe. “Crossroads” takes the wrong path; a cool heavy riff that could have been another fine instrumental is used with the lyrics of “Crossroads”, and does not work. The vocals are not particularly strong, and do nothing to elevate the music, and that goes for the other vocal tracks on the album. As you get deeper into the album, tracks like “Dulcinea” feature more melodic playing and some cool riffs like in “Berserker” and the obvious Zeppelin influenced “Plectrumelectrum”. There is an odd sound to the drums in the mix on a number of tracks that can be a distracting, and one of them is “Celestial Voice” which is dedicated to Neil Peart. As mentioned with the vocals previously, they kill this track, almost painful to listen to. Ryan is a talented musician, and has written some engaging instrumentals, but need more variety to stand out among the pack.


Track List:

  1. Starlord
  2. Shatterbrain
  3. Crossroads
  4. Earthrise
  5. Skydance
  6. Black Ice
  7. I’m Ready
  8. Dulcinea
  9. Berserker
  10. Plectrumelectrum
  11. Dreadhulk
  12. Celestial Voice
  13. Quiet Flight

Added: May 21st 2022
Reviewer: Eric Porter
Score:
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 823
Language: english

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