As the former front woman for the astroPuppees, Kelly Ryan’s
dance card hasn’t had much demand up until now. And yet, with this first solo
outing, she’s made a perfect pop album that even those with far more seasoned
resume would probably take pride in calling their own. It’s tempting to credit producer Don Dixon (who,
along with wife Marti Jones and longtime percussion foil Jim Brock, plays on
the record) for this achievement, and indeed, Dixon’s track record certainly lends credence
to any effort that can claim his talents.
However, it’s Ryan’s songs that seize the spotlight from the get-go,
their ready hooks and catchy melodies making a formidable impression that
lingers long after. While she resists
the temptation to get too heady, that doesn’t mean she’s not profound. “I’m
never going to get your love/You’re never going to get mine,” she sighs on
“Bleeding a Girl,” a bittersweet ballad that laments the inevitable
disappointment accompanying a failed love affair.
Still, it’s the chirpier entries that provide more obvious
examples of Ryan’s radiant charms – be it the breezy “Key To My Heart” — which
borrows its refrain from the old R&B chestnut, “Baby, Now That I’ve Found
You” — the lilting, yet uplifting “The Speaks,” or the enticing opener “About
A Girl.” Ryan taps her rhythms as a gentle drift, a tact that finds her methods
seductive and alluring yet rarely threatening.
Or, as she confides on “Heart and Bone,” “I’m as cool as the middle of a
concrete floor.” Clearly, she has no qualms about claiming any place that can
shelter her soft caress.
Tracks: “About a Girl,: “The Lady’s Daughter,” Bleeding A Girl”