April 2004

Ross Ryan
One Person Queue

     It's been thirty years since Ross E Ryan first fumbled his way through our transistor radio speakers with I Am Pegasus. Another couple of LPs and hit singles later, the reluctant household name slid into a curious self-imposed exile from the public eye. Twenty-five years since his last album and after more than a decade in the making, Ross Ryan is back with his fifth release, 'One Person Queue'.

    Here, while much of his wry humour and often self-deprecating wit is still delicately peppered throughout the ten songs on offer, one of the more immediate differences is the lush and aesthetically pleasing production - not forgetting a noticeably greater degree of confidence in his voice and lyrics. The opening Only My Breathing is a warm and welcoming take on a new relationship and first single Cool River swings closer towards the celebratory side of country music, while other tracks have the trademark quirkiness that sees Ryan revisit his former hunting grounds: the smoky nightclub feel of Don't Be Unkind, the alt-country acoustic waltz Not Our Time, the more strident rock of Lovers Turn To Thieves, and (my pick for the next single), the beautifully uncluttered and honest Only Show In Town. Add to the jumble of styles a little bit of white bread evangelistic gospel (Walk On Water), folk (Chase The Ghosts Away), social apology (Spirit Of The Rain) and some comical honky tonkin' country (Look Out For The Ricochet), and the overall result sounds like an album from an artist who's comfortable with who he is right now, rather than one trying too hard to recapture glories from three decades ago.

Steve Jones

DB Magazine

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