Ryan Knowles latest release A Spoonful of Sugar with a Grain of Salt is a simple album using only basic instrumentation of a ratty acoustic guitar, bass guitar, an upright piano, and some rough vocals. Knowles describes it as “acoustic progressive folk rock.” Most of the tracks are short (under 3 minutes) but over the length of the album tells the story of a man who breaks away from his prison-like household to see the big wide world, only to find out that the world might be a little too wide for him to handle.
The album starts with “The Box” (part 1), which features an acoustic guitar and vocals. The melody is pleasant enough and ends as quickly as it starts. “A Fragment of Doubt” is another softly picked acoustic guitar (this time with some reverb). My favorite song was “Unimportant” which contains some loosely played piano, bass and vocals. While Knowles has some good material here, I hope to hear him step it up in a more traditional studio the next time around because the songs are sometimes held back by the production. This is an above average lo-fi bedroom DIY album that offers solid songwriting.
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