Lee Ryan - The Album

2006-10-03 10:40
I have a confession to make. I like boy bands. Or ex-members of extinct boybands who have flown the coop and are trying to make an honest living as a solo artist.

And I especially like their liner notes! Who can resist those pain-stakingly composed, black and white, I-suffer-for-my-art pinups of the artist glancing up at the clouds, gazing down at that tiny black spot on the floor or even brazenly eyeballing the camera with his signature "Blue Steel" pose.

Ok, ok, so it all sounds a bit too cheesy. But that's what UK pop is all about isn't it? Cheese. And, honestly, there's absolutely nothing wrong with cheese. Lee Ryan's debut solo album is of the Brie variety. Delicate and creamy texture, sweet taste, and best served at room temperature.

The Album is co-produced by Ash Howes and Martin Harrington, the men behind Westlife's World of Our Own album, Atomic Kitten's Ladies Night, Natalie Imbruglia's Counting Down the Days, Blue's Guilty, and Sanctuary by Ryan's ex- mate Simon Webbe. Howes and Harrington have co-produced so many British pop albums that I've begun to wonder whether they sit in their studios, key in the 'super secret formula' and voila! Out pops a UK hit single.

Maybe that's why all these so-called "smash hits" have the same sound - silky smooth vocals, muted percussion, often overly ambitious guitar cycles, and a very basic bass line.

The Album has a well-balanced mix of slow ballads, fast ballads and mid-tempo ballads. In fact, the entire album is a ballad... if only I were the one he was singing to. Ryan sticks to what he does best and what paid his bills in the now defunct boyband Blue. The song selection carries his angelic voice perfectly and doesn't test his vocal range too much.

It's wise to remember that you cannot expect too much from manufactured pop. Of course there are a few tracks I'd be happy skipping over in future, but there will definitely be a future.

The final word? This boy can sing.

- Megan Kakora
Even after life as a member of boyband Blue, Lee Ryan holds on to the winning team of producers that help him churn out pop hits.

What to read next: Kalahari

iisa 2006/10/04 3:43 PM
blue scks this is boy is fvcking sht
domingos 2006/10/05 1:56 AM
de abreu i love his music ,real love rocks
mandy 2006/10/07 5:32 PM
Lee-Ryan So corny. Heard it already. Fvking suks. I liked Blue betta.
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