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CD REVIEW: John Ryan - "Words Alone"
By Gian F - 02/24/2006 - 12:39 AM EST

Artist: John Ryan
Album: "Words Alone"
CD Review: Genre: Adult Contemporary/Orchestral
Sounds Like: ?
Technical Grade: 10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10
Commercial Value: 10
Overall Talent Level: 10
Songwriting Skills: 10
Performance Skill: 10
Best Songs: Words Alone, Holding On To Dreams, I Never Knew, Watching The Years Go By, Melancholy Serenade
Weakness: None
CD Review: Every now and then - actually, every 300 CDs or so - I get one project that stands out from all the rest in terms of quality and originality. A project that I'm not only happy to receive as a music reviewer, but one that I'm genuinely thankful to have as a music lover. John Ryan, a professional pianist from Melbourne, Florida, sent me such a project.

It's a diverse blend of styles and genres that are built around his superior songwriting and piano playing talents; the renowned orchestration of British Legendary arranger and conductor Pete Moore and his 32 piece orchestra; the excellence of the project's producer, Peter Clayton; the scintillating vocal performances of Laurie Broadway, Jacqui Hicks, David Migden, and Colin Anthony; and last but not least, the contributions of world class musicians and recording engineers. Yes, this was an incredible ensemble effort and those who are responsible for the phenomenal results need to be acknowledged first, as John wouldn't have it any other way.

For every adult over 35 who has wondered, "What ever happened to real music?" You know, songs with real lyrics that pertain to adult life and honest relationship issues, remember those? If you have given up hope on ever finding new songs that rival the quality of the songs you grew up with, the search is over - especially if you share my affection for the work of Burt Bacharach or happen to be fond of The Carpenters.

The opening song, "Words Alone," performed by Laurie Broadway (whose contribution to this project is indispensable), sets the tone and the standard which is maintained from start to finish. David Migden turns in a performance that is sure to conjure up memories of the late Lou Rawls on "Misery Blues."

There's a beautiful instrumental that is well-placed in the line up which gives you time to embrace the refreshingly immense quality of this project, while increasing your appetite for more...and more of it is what you get when it continues. And who better than to start it off with than Laurie Broadway singing "You're Not Alone," a song that will resonate during these times of war and trepidation. It will also resonate with music supervisors seeking songs on this subject matter for television specials.

Listening to this project from beginning to end is like the fantasy you had as a kid of eating a whole cake or pie...the only difference here is that you want be sick of consuming this entire CD by yourself. This is just a great project and Words alone can't describe just how wonderful it truly is. Buy it today!

Advice: Infinite licensing opportunities here, but don't overlook radio. These songs can easily hold their place alongside classics like the Carpenters, Neil Diamond, and others.

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