The latest release from the ever-improving singer-songwriter Matthew Ryan is quite a beauty to behold. It’s an interesting beast to tackle, and Ryan shows an astounding level of maturation on this disc. He leaves behind the shackles of conformity that hinder many musicians in the genre, and lunges almost haphazardly toward creating something unique, inspired, lasting, and enjoyable—the likes of which he aims have been rarely done before.
Sound and literacy seem to be his muse as he weaves together melody, a dash of synth, and an ever-present lyrical wit that is almost always a step above other offerings in the field. From A Late Night High Rise almost feels in a way like a concept album—with the concept being only to make quality, unique (but not quite uniqueness for the sheer sake of being unique) music that is both thought provoking, and enjoyable.
This is one of the better entries into the singer-songwriter repertoire, and it actually acted to renew a bit of faith that had been lost over the last few years with the emergence of such genuine wits (note the sarcasm) of the likes of Jack Johnson, and (albeit less frequently these days) the material of John Mayer. Matthew Ryan is a unique talent, and has a lot of potential to really become one heck of a fantastic musician. He possesses a level of lyrical wit and talent that most guys would kill for, and seems to have honed the ability to put a song together from noise and guitar licks the likes of which I’ve rarely seen.
On From A Late Night High Rise, Ryan displays an immense amount of talent, and pays off on quite a lot of it, too. A song or two may have a rough edge here and there; but the heart is here—and that counts for a heck of a lot. He gets an A+ for effort, and an A for talent. Overall that’s an A and a half … which ain’t too shabby.