Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ryan Star - 11:59 - First Reaction

The day that we've all been waiting for is here - the much anticipated 11:59 from Ryan Star. I have to preface this by saying that I have heard about 90% of what is on the album already, thanks to the EP and also to seeing Ryan live a bunch over the last year. So I've been familiar with it. But what I wasn't familiar with was the new mixes that we got on a few songs. And I was so excited to see that We Might Fall and Losing Your Memory from Songs from the Eye of an Elephant made it on. And I really love the new arrangements on them.

Hands down, the most powerful track on the album is We Might Fall. I love the simplicity of it with just the piano, and then the drums kicking in later. I love the backing vocal. The title track, 11:59, I  knew was going to make me cry last night. And it absolutely did. It rips my heart out and its really truly a reminder to live in the moment and to make the most of it all.  Brand New Day, Right Now, and This Could Be the Year have been my mantra songs for a long time, so its nice to hear Brand New Day and Right Now start this album off in the best possible way. And what to say about Last Train Home - that song struck a chord with me the first time I heard it - and I can't ever let it go. It's passionate. And beautiful. That song right into Breathe is a seamless transition, and as a whole, this album is laid out perfectly.

The two new tracks that I hadn't heard before - Unbreak and Start a Fire are amazing. They're both songs I could hear on the radio right now - and they're different from anything that Ryan has done before, which is why I love them so much. They're different, but fit in with everything else.  I love Start a Fire a LOT. Its sexy, fun, and such a jam. I'm so thrilled that it's on the album. I'm also thrilled Back of Your Car made it onto the deluxe edition - and the slowed, spoken part of it that was added in towards the end? I adore it.

The underlying theme of this album is to seize the day, make the most of the moment and live your life that way. I think Ryan succeeded in telling his story through his music. Listening to this album last night for the first time through headphones was the best possible way to do it. It has been over a year since I heard these songs live for the first time - and I immediately latched on. I've been so fortunate to be along for this ride, and I don't anticipate it stopping anytime soon.

11:59 is available everywhere today.

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