Ryan Boss 2016
Sweet caution from Atlanta’s rising star who brings Southern cool down the hot line.
Making splashes everywhere he goes, mostly in acoustic terms, and taking his message much further on radio waves, Ryan Boss could have been a poster boy if he wasn’t wading such serious waters. Emotionally rich, Boss’ oeuvre is deeply rooted in tradition and his songs are painfully personal, what with “Leave Your Boyfriend” running the blues and opener “She’s Got Me Satisfied” turning rock ‘n’ roll clichés on their head in a dramatic, yet domestic, way so it’s not “one for the money, two for the show” position.
Still, while a guitar jangle under “Better Off Alone” undercuts its sad shuffle, the upbeat “Always Be Around” brings Ryan’s debut to a close in a contrasting, “circle be unbroken” manner. Optimism permeating the album, there’s an admission of possible risks of going it solo in the title track whose pop potential isn’t hard to see despite its rock arrangement, and though the artist may lapse into Americana on a couple of pieces, his electric six-string mastery is much more muscular than the genre could require. Not for nothing the flamenco strain of “State Lines” stresses Boss’ border-crossing stance: Ryan’s not only “not afraid of dying” – he’s also willing to go the extra mile that’s needed to make it big time.