Ryan Michalski is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who comes from a small town in New Jersey called Ringwood. He started playing guitar at the age of 14. Ryan always worked on his playing technique and writing skills. He grew up in the 80’s hair-metal generation developing a taste for indie-pop and alternative music. He moved to Tampa, Florida in 1996 and went to art school. He also dabbled in public access television and other projects. For the last 20 years he’s been writing, recording and releasing CD’s under alias’ such as Ryan Cosmonaught, Dead Dark Slide and Space King.
His music is a fusion of pop, rock, metal, gothic rock and everything else in between. Ryan has collaborated with many musicians from all genres and with vast musical backgrounds. Under the alias Ryan Cosmonaught project “The Ryan Cosmonaught Project” was nominated for a German Grammy (the song was titled “Rock Star”) in 2005.
Michalski has just released his 14-track album titled, “I am starting over”. This album contains everything you need to know about the band at its best. The stripped-down guitar sound, much more polished than garage rock, but just as vital and powered up, Ryan’s voice goes from sweet lullabies to raspy growls to scathing bitterness, and the evocative lyrics take the listener through every possible emotion in the length of a song.
The common denominator on these songs is their basic simplicity. A Ryan Michalski song is almost always based on just a few chords and a very strong melody. An element inherited from the great pop and rock songs of a classic era, unfortunately gone by. Musically, these are very tight songs, which speak to the heart, and credit must be given to the arrangements and production which has been able to recreate these retro rock sounds.
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This album could easily have dropped out of the sunshine-pop 60’s, or psychedelic-rock 70’s era. It has such an authentic and classic retro-rock sound. Ryan Michalski’s style in places is almost an original blend of alternative rock, folk rock and southern rock.
On most songs, Michalski sings it like he means it, with conviction and soul. There are also plenty of electric guitar works on the album too. You get the feeling that Ryan Michalski wants to take the music world by storm, not with something new, but with a solid dose of the familiar, melded with an bigger dose of the band’s exuberance, chiming guitars, and rocking attitude. This is basic clean rock and roll and a great collection of musicians morphing into a great band.
Of the fourteen tracks, my favorites are without a doubt, “Rock Star” and “She’s A Girl” which reminded me of David Bowie at his best, “Don’t Cry”, “She Tell Herself”, “You Touch Me” and “You Told Me You Love Me”.
In order to get the full effect of this album and experience Ryan Michalski the songwriter, you have to listen to “I am starting over”, all the way through from beginning to end. If you are not familiar with Ryan Michalski or want to experience a close-to-perfect retro-rock sound, this is one you will want to get.
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