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Twist
     

Twist

by Kelley Ryan
 
One mark of an exceptional pop music talent is the ability to make songs that sound simultaneously universal and deeply personal. Another is the ability to trick you with what sounds like simplicity, using it to pull you into something that goes a bit deeper -- either sonically (notice how many layers there are to the sweetly chiming "About a Girl," both in terms of

Overview

One mark of an exceptional pop music talent is the ability to make songs that sound simultaneously universal and deeply personal. Another is the ability to trick you with what sounds like simplicity, using it to pull you into something that goes a bit deeper -- either sonically (notice how many layers there are to the sweetly chiming "About a Girl," both in terms of its arrangement and the constantly shifting undertow of its chord changes) or lyrically (notice the emotional depth of "Bridie's Eyes," not to mention the gorgeously astringent string arrangement that supports it). Both of those, like several other of the album's best songs, were co-written with producer and power pop legend Don Dixon; Marti Jones also contributed writing on "All About a Girl" and "Key to My Heart," and she sings backup on several tracks as well. The three make a powerful team, but it's Kelley Ryan's voice, her lyrics, and her heartbreaking way with a melody that make this such a special album. "The Lady's Daughter" takes the simplest possible tune, little more than a lullaby, and turns it into something ambiguous and wonderful; "Monkey with a Flashlight" is gently percolating, perfect pop music with a tinge of late-afternoon melancholy, the kind of music you'd listen to on the way home from the beach rather than on the way there. "The Speaks" is soft acoustic reggae with absolutely perfect background harmonies; here you might wish that Dixon's bassline were a bit more interesting -- reggae is nothing if not an opportunity to write a great melody for the bass -- but you wouldn't have wanted it to distract from Ryan's voice, either. And "Key to My Heart" takes a melody as pretty as a china vase and places it in a 1960s girl group groove, slyly ending without a harmonic resolution. Like so much great pop music, Twist appeals immediately on the surface and then yields more and more with repeated listening, and it's easily one of the most satisfying releases of 2010.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/16/2010
Label:
Cd Baby
UPC:
0884501223799
catalogNumber:
50122379
Rank:
306428

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kelley Ryan   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Sounds
Don Dixon   Bass,Vocals,Sounds
Marti Jones   Vocals
Jim Brock   Percussion,Drums
Fontaine Brown   Harmonica
John Cronin   Accordion
Chris Frank   Tuba
Peter Kent   Concert Master
John Oreshnick   Drum Loop
Evan Richey   Cello
John Street   Background Vocals
Jacquie Carrasco   Violin

Technical Credits

Don Dixon   Producer,Engineer,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Van Dyke Parks   String Arrangements
Matt Cartsonis   Engineer
Kelley Ryan   Producer,Engineer
Diane Painter Velletri   Artwork
Giancarlo Salvador   Artwork
Malachy Harty   Cover Photo

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