Exploding onto the US poprock scene like the prepackaged melodic studmuffin he is, Ryan Cabrera has taken middle America and its lovelorn teenagers by storm. Peddling an inoffensive line of mildly rocky, instantly catchy radio friendly tunes and looking like a choirboy on the last cusp of innocence its surely only a matter of time before the UK starts bopping to Cabreras ditties. The songs on the album are written mainly by GooGooDolls frontman Johnny Rzeznik but Cabrera is credited with several of the songs (or at least the lyrics), which gives the album the type of instantly listenability the Goos are famed for.
Although as with most albums of this genre about half the album is filler material, the type of songs Rzeznik obviously knocked out over lunch one day, the other half are very good indeed. Debut single “On the way down” is by and large my favourite song of 2004, an enchanting slice of poprock genius performed with gusto and aplomb. Acoustic ballad “True” sounds a little sickly sweet upon initial hearing but soon grows on you and “Exit to Exit” hums along nicely, lead guitar riffing over Cabreras “Wonderwall” chord sequence to create a very likeable song. The teenage longing of “40 kinds of sadness” is also a very enjoyable, if highly unoriginal jaunt down the avenue of poprock. He’ll probably be reviled as manufactured evil when he hits our mighty shores and you’ll tell everyone you can’t stand him. But deep inside you’ll adore the tuneful little urchin. Download it now or check out his acoustic performances on mtv.com.