By: Keir Bristol
Ryan Lee Crosby’s latest, Out to Dry, is the blueprint to an opener to that indie-rock concert that you’ve been looking forward to all week. You know that opening band that no one has heard of or cares about? The performer people listen to silently and applaud mildly after every song and at the end of the set to be polite? That’s what Ryan Lee Crosby’s new album is.
It is an album of mediocre folk rock songs that follows a formula: pretty piano melodies and guitar chords, sprinkles of harmonica, pleasant voice singing in tune, repetitive, cliché lyrics about love, seasons, memories, and old men dying, sprinkled with frequent references to alcoholism. In fact, here’s an outline of the entire album.
1. “The Old Man Dreamed of Dope”: an old man is dying.
2. “Big Takeover”: political commentary.
3. “Winter of ‘05”: memories of past love.
4. “Baby Brother”: fucked up family.
5. “Some Serious Help”: fucked up relationship.
6. “Angela”: fucked up relationship + alcohol.
7. “Summer’s Come”: memories of a fucked up relationship.
8. “Old Lovers”: my ex made a comeback.
9. “Everyday Escape”: get me the hell out of here.
10. “Nicoline”: I’m in love with a really hot chick.
Unfortunately, Crosby’s ingredients for “Out to Dry,” does not a stand out album make. It doesn’t sound like anything that you haven’t heard before in the beginning of that rock concert, or the one guy with the
guitar in a crowd of literary buffs that the supervisor thought would be a nice break between all the slam poetry pieces.
Or perhaps he just hasn’t mastered the formula yet. Maybe if Crosby improved his lyrics and varied the tempo, content, and melodies of his songs, his second album will be more memorable.