On the Record: Matthew Ryan's Boxers

On the Record, where we spin the hottest new vinyl releases!

Matthew Ryan

Blue Rose Records
12" LP with CD included
Rating: 3 1/2 stars

Boxers is Ryan's 13th album so he definitely has his own sound, a sort of heartland rock that's lyrically stimulating while still being about things that the everyday Joe can relate to. In that respect there are Springsteen comparisons to be made and the harmonica-embellished "The First Heartbreak" recalls the Boss, while "Suffer No More" has a distinct Tom Petty feel to it. With a voice just gravelly enough to sound world-wise and not world-weary, Ryan is cryptic but credible singing lines like "So I did what I did/And just like the whippoorwill/There's only one thing you can bring/Up here to heaven's hill" ("Heaven's Hill). Fans of Mark Knopfler's more recent work will find a kindred spirit in Ryan as well, particularly on Side 2's opening cut, the understated "We are Libertines." Ryan's cleverest wordplay comes in "Then She Threw Me Like a Hand Grenade," a song that like most here is about a relationship; is it working or is it not, why are we doing this and why are we doing it here, does it even still exist or is it just a memory. So there's lots to get emotional about should the listener choose, but just listening to Ryan's voice lull you into a mellow state is cool too. Ryan's back-up band for Boxers includes the ever in-demand Kevin Salem on electric guitar, piano and other various instruments.

Order the vinyl and limited edition signed vinyl here.

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