Jason Ryan is a talented producer from Chicago who just released a very eclectic album entitled Jayry II that is about as diverse as an album you could make. He takes on different genres like dance, soul, alternative, funk and ambient to name a few and not only changes things up from track to track but also within the tracks themselves. The album is devoid of lead vocals except the last song, which is a cover, but I found myself not missing them at all.
The songs throughout sound polished and spacious. Ryan being a professional audio mixer has created a superior sounding album in which you can hear all the parts clearly.
The first song “Wake Up” is a bass heavy 70’s soul funk homage that made we want to break out the lava lamps and spark one up. It’s a chill vibe with a repetitive bass line that gets introduced to various instruments throughout the song. “Castle” sounds like a fantasy theme song from the 80’s that again has a prominent bass line but also works because of other factors like the unique panning techniques and ethereal synths. A distant lead guitar and epic atmosphere are found on “Moving On” while “Get Back Out On The Floor” is a dance number that sounds like a mix between early Primal Scream and Daft Punk.
“Undone” melds white noise from guitar with vocoder type vocals that lay low in the music. The song drifts along with nostalgia and optimism as it progresses. One of the highlights was “Jazz Type Thing’ which is a loose song that doesn't take itself too seriously but has a catchy whistling lead. The album ends with “New York Grove” in which we finally get to hear Ryan sing. He has a great voice and after hearing it I was surprised it wasn’t more prominent in the album.
Ryan seems to be a bit too ambitious to settle on one style for long. Jayry II is a bit scattered but it works because the songs are strong.
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