© Ryan Spendlove / Candy Rat Records 2011Download MP3s : $9.95 Buy CD : $14.95
The 12 songs on this album have been finely honed over the last two years as Ryan has perfected his craft out on the road. Reviewing this work was quite daunting – as I was so familiar with the material – but my only real fear before I heard the album was that there may have been a temptation to utilise the studio environment too much and drown the songs in backing vocals and excessive overdubs. Thankfully, any thoughts to this end were quickly banished. It is the sound of one man and his guitar. When the opening bars of the title track float from the speakers, it becomes apparent that this is a record that defines its creator. There is no bullshit on this album. Each song – from the jangly pop of ‘Medicine’, to the gospel-infused ‘Let Your Light Shine” – is delivered with such soul that you don’t question Spendlove’s honesty. On ‘The Years Go By’ he tells a tale of love gone wrong, but Ryan isn’t bitter as he begs his past love to “think of me well and see the better times” whilst going on to wish her well for the future. Ryan further demonstrates his mastery of the catchy one-liner on the blues-waltz that is ‘Silicone Puppies’ (a title that could well introduce American listeners to a whole new dialect!), a wry take on the public’s obsession with media and celebrity. There is no filler on this album. “Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind” conjures images of a Glastonbury singalong, while album closer “Pretty Polly” leaves the listener in no doubt where Ryan’s influences lay.
This is a stunning debut from an exceptionally gifted singer-songwriter. “Fable” oozes confidence (demonstrated by the way he shamelessly sings in his native Yorkshire accent) without ever being arrogant or cocksure.Steve Bradley - Fillmore Music