I Recall Standing as if Nothing Could Fall
Dear Future Collective
Throughout his eight-album studio album career, singer-songwriter Matthew Ryan’s music has been compared to performers as wide-ranging as Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, and Blue Nile. But on I Recall Standing as if Nothing Could Fall, it’s clear that Ryan has finally stepped out of other artists’ shadows to define his own unique and wonderfully captivating sound.
Right from the intro of superb opening track “The Sea,” Ryan’s vision for this album is apparent. Mixing electro beats with orchestral flourishes, delicate piano and an affecting melody, it’s one of the best songs Ryan has ever recorded. High praise indeed, considering the strength of his back catalog.
The atmospheric “Summer in the South” and the acoustic “I Don’t Want a Third World War” continue the quality theme, sandwiched either side of the memorable and electrified “Hey Kid.” The diversity evident in Ryan’s writing is abundantly clear in “The Spinning Room,” an achingly beautiful tune that is awash with effects, loops, and lyrical excellence.
It may not be an easy listen first time around, but I Recall Standing as if Nothing Could Fall really is the gift that keeps on giving. The brilliant “All of That Means Nothing Now” is dominated by a scuzzy, dirty riff, while the stripped back acoustic vibe of “Here Comes the Snow” shows the brilliance of Ryan’s songwriting in its most raw and naked form.
The melancholic “Song for a Friend” is another standout and the chaotic urgency of “All Hail the Kings of Trash” closes the record in absolutely magnificent style.
A bonus CD of demos and outtakes provides further evidence, if needed, that I Recall Standing as if Nothing Could Fall is worth $10 of anyone’s money. It’s an album that’s epic, brave, and ambitious, but above all else, unmistakably Matthew Ryan.
Matthew Ryan: www.matthewryanonline.com