Honey Ryder - Rising Up

Honey Ryder's debut album is the dampest of squibs. The pairing of vocalist Lindsay O'Mahony and guitarist Martyn Shone has, if they think this cuts the mustard, delusions of grandeur on a grand scale. You can just about see what they were aiming for : slick folk-pop with pretty vocals, big hooks, summery vibe. But, lord, a more studio-bound recording have I yet to hear this year. 'Rising Up' falls down on various levels. Vocally, Lindsay just about passes muster, but there's a thin, reedy quality to her voice that eventually starts to grind, especially when over-exposed on the quiter songs. Lyrically, it's shallow as hell ("Is it luck or is it fate/When you meet your soul mate ?") The songs vary little between the Avril-like rock-out of 'Numb' and wan ballads. The chorus of 'Rising Up' sounds exactly like the chorus of 'Breaking Free' from High School Musical. (That said, opener 'Fly Away' is a deadringer for The Cranberries' 'Dreams'.) And christ knows what the pair of them were on when they wrote their sleeve 'Thank You's'; it makes the kind of schmaltzy twaddle you find on the inner CD packaging of just about every major American mainstream artist ("First of all, thanks to God") look reserved and aloof. There's sugar in the sentiments, in the lyrics, in the arrangements. Simply put, Honey Ryder come across like a pair of nice enough people who want to be musicians but ultimately have nothing to say.

And if all of that sounds just too cruel, I offer this in my defence. I've played this album half a dozen times. At least. I've gone back to it far more times than duty demands. I know it better than albums I like ! That's how much its sheer awfulness raised my eyebrows and that's why I needed to be sure. And, boy, I'm sure.



out of 10

Last updated: 18/04/2018 21:46:18

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