Frank Ruvoli has only been playing guitar for five years and writing songs for only three. In the grand scheme of things this is very little time considering he just released a ten-song album entitled What You Got. Ruvoli is pretty much exactly what you would expect from a person who hasn’t been creating music for very long. His songs revolve around basic chord progressions and he heavily wears his influences on his sleeve. The most readily apparent is Dave Matthews band, which can’t be denied. What You Got also leaves something to be desired regarding the recording quality. There isn’t much separation and his acoustic guitar sounds thin, with too much high end and not enough warmth.
Ruvoli is about as predictable with his lyrics as he is with his chord progression. Lines like “And oh I swear To you, nothing else compares And oh I'm crazy for your love And you are my angel My angel” and “Hey girl What's got you down? You say nothing But I can see the frown On your pretty face Now what's that sound? It's your heart Breaking down, oh” don’t get past surface level tropes we have heard a thousand times before.
In all seriousness Ruvoli may want to think about starting a Dave Matthews cover band before delving into more original material. That or he just needs to give up listening to Dave Matthews all together. Some of the guitar riffs sound almost identical to parts I have heard before.
Ruvoli’s biggest strength as this point is his voice. I thought that he sounded good on a majority of the songs and given the subpar recording quality I was impressed by his vocal qualities.
It’s obvious that Ruvoli has been taken with being a musician and that’s wonderful but if he is going to compete in the folk singer/songwriter club against talents like Sufjan Steven and The Tallest Man in The World he has some work ahead of him. He really is going to have to cast away his influences and find his own style if he hopes to shine with his original music. Something easier said than done although Ruvoli still has an ample amount of time to find the inspiration from inside to create something that isn’t as derivative as What You Got.
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