Cons: Cover songs are boring, Italian pieces might throw some off
The Bottom Line: Looking for the next best silver notes on the wind? The twins have it right here for you.
After settling on the lesser of two evils in terms of headphones, as my good pair decided to die on me, I popped in this CD to test run sound quality because RyanDan demands clarity.
I found the magic that is RyanDan several months ago while perusing Doctor Who music videos like the geeky semi-fangirl that I am. I found one that had me pretty much gawking and afterwards scouring the internet for more songs and information. When I first got the CD and saw the cover, I didnt quite understand. Two guys that looked the same and then name RyanDan on the cover. I dont know if it makes me stupid or not, but I thought it was one guy and his name was, somehow, Ryan Dan.
It turns out that Ryan is one guy. Dan is another. Theyre twins. And they sing like well, like pure fantastic. They sound exactly the same so you never have any idea who is singing what and half the time you forget there are two people involved and just fall into the song and one voice. Its crazy and awesome. While as of right now, the boys are moseying around Canada, Id like to think that this review will bring more listeners in and expand their fan base and sales so that we can get more of the duo. Jackpot.
1.) Like the Sun - My #2 favorite song on this CD, and my favorite part within the song at about the 3 minute mark. I love hearing these guys just let a note go on and on, flying through the air with amazing power. Love it. Ill sing to this, I just cant help it. It builds up from the start into such a bright, flourishing piece, its just wonderful. (go to www.ryandan.com to hear this gem for free!)
2.) The Face - My #3 favorite song on here. Mostly because it works in a similar fashion to Like the Sun in terms of brilliant midway vocals at full vigor. Thats not to say the rest of the song is dull. No, its very flowing, silk-like with extra chorus just below the surface. The piano is a nice touch, and with these guys using essentially orchestra instruments for their songs, Im even more in love with them. I dont know who gets the long, lingering bit just before the 2:30 mark, but thats the sweet spot right there.
3.) High - This is a song that made me wonder if RyanDan classified themselves as religious singers or not. Im still not sure if theyre referencing God here or something else. This song kind of grew on me, God-related or no, with the exotic, Arabic feeling at the start with the drums and instruments. Its a positive song, complete with vibrant chorus. If we all work together, we could be stronger...
4.) The Prayer - This song may very well be on here due to influence by their father who was an opera singer. The song slips into Italian and total operatic style, with soaring vocals and amazing range. Soft for the most part, aside from the few powerful sections. Once again, impressive.
5.) In Us I Believe - Though the song is a little over 3 minutes, it still feels short. Its rather simple and with the strings and piano, has a very classical style to it, with down-to-earth lyrics and an overall pleasant song.
6.) Wind Beneath My Wings - Ill tell you right now Im not a fan of cover songs. Never have been, never will be. I will admit that if I hear a song and dont know its a cover, then I may enjoy it and compare everything else to it (if I really like it), but otherwise, covers bore me; its been done. While the boys sing extremely well and use their vocal chords to the fullest, its still the same song with little change.
7.) Ill Be There - Another obvious cover, and despite the chorus in the background and the slightly updated style, its still the same song. Theres no denying the duos singing skills, but otherwise its nothing too new.
8.) Bring Him Home - A little harp action starts things off, and similar to The Prayer, we get a slice of the opera style once more. Simple once again, with just one singer (at a time?) with a backdrop of flutes and harps and strings. Quite pretty and something you could easily imagine on a stage in an expensive theatre.
9.) Dentro Me - A song sung entirely in Italian. I hope you have your Babelfish ready because there isnt a lick of English in this song. Operatic once again, though this one feels more full bodied, so I could see it easily placed in a major motion picture. Both boys are singing this time (I think) and if you know the language, its quite a beautiful song (okay, still beautiful even if you dont know the language).
10.) Stay With You - Definitely the sense of a song more pop-like here, both in instrumentation and in lyrics. It isnt fast by any means, but it has a slightly faster pace than some of the past songs. May very well make you hum along.
11.) You Needed Me - Upbeat and strong, I tend to lose myself in this song. I sort of zone out and sink away and actually forget Im listening to it. Im not sure if thats a bad thing or a good thing. If you didnt catch the difference in their voices (range that is), youll definitely notice it here.
12.) Tears of an Angel - My first RyanDan song and absolute favorite, discovered in a Doctor Who video (yes, I know Im a dork but it was a damn good video). I immediately fell in love with this song. Its just so beautiful and haunting and powerful all at the same time. I turn this song up like theres no tomorrow. What makes it even more touching is that they wrote it for their niece (who, sadly enough, eventually passed away from a brain tumor). Its so simple, and yet the composition makes this the closest thing to the perfect song Ive ever heard.
If you like Josh Groban, in terms of power and clarity, RyanDan matches Josh, hands down. Frankly, I like their voices more and feel that, somehow, they have more clarity. So if they sing so wonderfully and have such fantastic songs, why did I give the twins 4 stars?
I mentioned before, I dont do cover songs. I dont see the point of cover songs. Everyones heard Wind Beneath My Wings about a gazillion times, and as soul-soaring as these guys voices are, that song just doesnt do them justice. Its dull and unimpressive because its been played to death. I skip it. I skip Ill Be There as well because its not new. Ryan, Danyou boys are both new, you are fantastic, you created Tears of an Angel and I dont care how simple that song is, its brilliant and you need to create more original songs for yourselves, or at the very least, pay someone to come up with good, original songs for you. There. Ive said it.
Thats my biggest beef. The Italian is kind of odd, but Im open minded, and even though it threw me off, Ive grown fond of it. Its one of those things youll have to figure out for yourself. Otherwise, the orchestra, piano, and the fact that these guys havent had a formal lesson a day in their lives, makes them a nugget of gold in my treasure chest of music. Im also happy to say that these guys woke up a sleeping muse in me and got me writing like I havent written in a long time.
P.S. Theres also a song out there by RyanDan titled Always. If you find yourself enjoying any of these songs, then I suggest seeking it out. Its like their tribute to one another and very sweet.