Review: Ryan Rebo – Dizzy American
Album: Dizzy American
Artist: Ryan Rebo
Digital Release: Already out in iTunes
Hard Copy Release: May, 2009
Author: Justin Wayne
Date: 13 April 2009
Ryan Rebo, once a part of the Helena, Montana based indie band Broadband Shortwave, readies himself to release his first solo album, Dizzy American in early May.
Broadband Shortwave held him as their lead singer, guitar, and keyboard player, developing a firm following throughout the northwestern United States. But after four years of hard touring, two EPs, one full-length album, lineup changes, and a lengthy three-year hiatus it was time to call it quits in the spring of 2008. They must have split peacefully because when I came around they graciously lead me to Ryan’s new project.
Ryan hit the ground running with his solo act, jumping into the studio right after Broadband Shortwave split ways. Perhaps the band had been stifling this fountain of creativity that now flows freely. After this first full-length, Ryan is off to a very ambitious start on his own.
And it is an ambitious album – eleven songs clocking in at nearly one hour. Dizzy American maintains an ease of listening as it plays through its entirety, floating from one song to the next. Most of the songs operate at a slower tempo, bringing their single running times to an average just under five minutes. These track lengths seem to balk the corporate radio system. Any song over four minutes throws off the pre-programmed radio timing, but this fact has not deterred Ryan Rebo. Maybe that’s where Dizzy American’s charm lies – Ryan wrote it for himself and for us but not for the corporate monkeys. This long-playing indie-folk record seems almost perfect in its composition; both in the timing and in the music.
The music contains an ethereal flavor to the melodies and the lyrics. “Cloud Nine” demonstrates this not only in its title but with its echoing angelic choir, flowing piano, sweet acoustic guitar, and a taste of cello. “Blue Times Together”, takes the ‘misery loves company’ theme and plays it to a major chord progression. This self-reflective theme plays out throughout the album and at times becomes quite affecting, adding a sincere and personal presence of Ryan in his work.
The rest of the album follows suit with standouts including one of the few darker tracks “Cracks”, the lighter “Lost and Found”, and the piano driven title track “Dizzy American”. The quality mix blends the disk together and each track tells a chapter in this story, Dizzy American. This album will be found playing in cars with windows down, winding though the mountains and valleys of a Montana summer.
And it looks as though Ryan will be making that possible with the album already appearing in iTunes. Keep an eye on www.myspace.com/ryanrebo for the hard copies of the album, and to preview the album for yourself. If you’re looking for an album to keep you company through a home-cooked meal with friends or to accompany you for a drive along the Yellowstone River, Ryan Rebo’s Dizzy American is a formidable choice.