Moon Under Water

Moon Under Water

5.0 2
by Ryan Cabrera
     
 

It's hard to look at Ryan Cabrera and not feel a twinge of sympathy. A wannabe teen pop idol who never was, Cabrera spent years dwelling in the shadow of the Simpsons, as the boyfriend of Ashlee and the client of her manager father, Joe, but never saw his star truly rise no matter how often he was on MTV or packaged in various TV shows. And so,See more details below

Overview

It's hard to look at Ryan Cabrera and not feel a twinge of sympathy. A wannabe teen pop idol who never was, Cabrera spent years dwelling in the shadow of the Simpsons, as the boyfriend of Ashlee and the client of her manager father, Joe, but never saw his star truly rise no matter how often he was on MTV or packaged in various TV shows. And so, after two albums on a major he's gone the independent route with his third album, The Moon Under Water. Perhaps it's a bit of an odd choice for an artist whose whole purpose has been to be a mass market star, but it was the only option left to Cabrera in 2008 and he makes the most of it, turning the album into a dark night of the soul, fueled by echoing Edge guitars and icy keyboard textures pulled from post-punk revivalists, all window dressing for songs that are still pop at heart. Cabrera might be hitting all the obvious marks but there's a sincerity to his reliance on clichés; as a product of mall culture, he's going for what he knows, spilling out his heart in the guise of surging atmospheric anthems. Underneath those textures -- as they do tend to dominate his thin, eternally boyish voice -- Cabrera recounts all manner of desolation, making repeated references to blackouts, breakups, isolation, loneliness, and fires on the hill, appropriate text for the moody music. Even if he once again succumbs to blunt commonalities instead of sly observations -- most notable on the murmured poetry of "Rise (The Dog Barks)," which plays like a manicured, polished David Baerwald (this is so obsessed with Los Angeles, it could pass for a dumbed-down Boomtown) -- the quivering sensitivity of his delivery and his stumbling soul-baring leave little question that he's genuinely trying to work out things. That makes for an album that's far more interesting than either of his major-label records, but it is telling that the songs that truly click are the ones with the boldest melodies -- namely the glistening "Sit Back, Relax," a blatant stab at neo-new wave that really works, and "Say," a near-incandescent pop tune almost worthy of Gregg Alexander. If he could harness that sense of melody and pull it into the slower tunes he could really have something, but right now he's still sorting things out, and it's better listening to him work through his troubles than try to hit the charts.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
05/13/2008
Label:
Papa Joe Records
UPC:
0805859009729
catalogNumber:
90097

Related Subjects

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >