Album Reviews: Take It All Away by Ryan CabreraIt's not even really necessary to hear Ryan Cabrera's music to peg him as The Next Big Thing. All you need to know is he's young, blond, good-looking, used to date Ashlee Simpson, and got Goo Goo Dolls frontman John Rzeznik to produce his debut album. With assets like that, how can you go wrong?
Well, you could go wrong by totally sucking, but on Take It All Away, Cabrera proves he's got the talent to back up the image. While a lot of the credit for the disc's slickly produced pop-rock must go to Rzeznik, Cabrera has an undeniable flair writing a rock-solid hook and delivering it in one of those plaintive, falsetto-laced tenors that makes teenaged girls go all shrieky and weak-kneed. He's got a fair shot at knocking his ex-girlfriend off the top of the charts.
Cabrera famously quit his punk-rock roots (but not his spiky bleach-blond 'do) when he discovered Dave Matthews, but the sound on Take It All Away owes more to poppier alt-rockers like Matchbox Twenty and Third Eye Blind, with maybe a dash of Jimmy Eat World-style emo-pop and a smidgen of Jack Johnson's beach-bonfire folk-rock. The insanely catchy "Let's Take Our Time" is the obvious standout, but nearly everything here is hook-heavy and radio-friendly. Brace yourselves for Ryan-mania. - Andy Hermann
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