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Ryan James - Directed

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

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Ryan James - Directed

Ryan James - Directed

High Tail Records
Bottom Line:

If you're a fan of great singer/songwriters then you need to check out Ryan James' Directed. There are a total of thirteen songs and the album was produced by Tim Lorsch. It's a top-notch release from the first note to the last and if you give it a chance I'm sure you'll agree.

Ryan James' album is spectacular. It's as simple as that. Rarely am I blown away by an album from the first listen, but that's what happened with Directed. Not only am I impressed by the music, but I even like how the songs are sequenced. There aren't a bunch of slow songs and then fast ones all clumped together. There's variety. This album sounds perfect from start to finish and I will be listening to it for quite some time.

Even after a million miles of memories, the man couldn't stop her leaving in "I Should've Broke Your Heart." He wonders why she threw it all away and feels like maybe things would be better if he had done the breaking up. She would be the one losing sleep at night instead of him. "In my heart we had something real, in my head I know you're gone" he says. A different kind of leaving song, "She's Always Leavin'" is a flat-out great song and I can just hear it all over Texas Radio. It's about a wild woman who will stay with you for a while but when she is gone - it's in a flash and you're left to wonder what exactly happened. Just when he thinks he's found her out on the road, she's gone before he gets to her. Toward the end of the song, this certain gentleman was paid another visit by this mysterious lady after not having seen her for a few months. "All I remember was her turquoise leather and her lace scattered all around the bed and on the floor" he says, before noting the next thing he heard was the back screen door.

"Just Keep Driving" is another song with a traveling theme but this time there's not lace involved. Instead, there is a story of a man who doesn't care if he ever returns home. He just wants to remain a driver on the open roads and all he needs are his wheels.

The upbeat "Are You With Me" finds a man who wants to know if his girlfriend has fallen head over heels in love with him - because that's how he feels when it comes to her. He wants to take "the leap" with her but he has to know if they are on the same level when it comes to the relationship. "When you lay down at night, do you see me in your dreams?" "Waves" sounds like it could be a sequel to "Are You With Me" only fifty years down the road. His wife died, and now he finds himself looking back on the laughs, tears, and other moments the two shared. He visits the ocean to see if the waves can wash away his sadness. It's a very touching song and wonderfully written.

If you like your country to "rock out," then the must-listen song for you is "Buckle Down." It's the type of song that can do no wrong whether it is cued up on radio or being played in a club or honky tonk bar. Be sure to take notice of the guitar solos. Changing things up a bit after the upbeat tune is "Matagorda," a song you could close your eyes and let the words paint a picture in your mind. I really like songs like this one. Putting the perfect touch to the end of the album is the bonus song, "I'll Get It Right." It has a back porch feel to it that I always seem to enjoy.

Other perks to this album are the title cut, "Directed," which is a fairly slow allowing you to focus on the lyrics. "I Give All My Love To You" is another slow song, but is one and lady would love to hear their boyfriend / husband sing to them. How could it not be with promises to never let us down and lyrics like: "When dreams come and go, I know you'll still be here." There are songs for everyone on Directed.

Track List:

  1. I Should've Broke Your Heart
  2. She’s Always Leavin'
  3. Directed
  4. Are You With Me
  5. What Am I Doing Here
  6. Waves
  7. Just Keep Driving
  8. Make It Go Away
  9. Get Busy Living
  10. I Give All My Love To You
  11. Buckle Down
  12. Matagorda
  13. I'll Get It Right (Bonus Track)

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