Matthew Ryan’s latest album – Matthew Ryan vs The Silver State or MRVSS has finally reached my ears, and boy has it been worth the wait. It is very much deserving of the good reviews. Matthew Ryan has been a songwriter of note for some time writing about subjects that can by deeply touching such as The Complete Family where his brother has been sentenced to 30 years in jail on the last album (From a Late Night High Rise) and the heart felt Hummingbird about wanting to be good enough for the woman you love. In this department, I might even be so blasphemous as to suggest he may even be on a par with Bruce Springsteen; he can certainly match for other lauded new generation songwriters such as Ryan Adams.
Musically Ryan’s voice has a slightly timbered and rough edge to it. This is combined with a musical style which for MRVSS has a live feel (we can only hope he tours the UK to here these songs live) although other albums (particularly Strays Don’t Sleep have had a more study polished feel). With the live edge to it the grittier songs such as Drunk and Disappointed bring to mind the likes Paul Westerberg or perhaps Jesse Malin and the quieter songs such as Hummingbird hinting at Tom McRae or Springsteen on Nebraska and The Ghost Of Tom Joad.