Ryan Summers Intoxicates on Undue Influence LP

By Deuce

Try and find another album even remotely similar to that of Ryan Summer’s latest effort, Undo Influence—if you can. Chances are you won’t even come close, which is a testament to Summer’s artistry on display on each and every one of the nine songs on this collection.

The most peerless of Summer’s tunes don’t invade your consciousness (the listening ear, as it were), so much as they flat out hypnotize, which is not easily done. Dig the way he oohs and ahs like the suffusion of the sun upon its nightly descent into a crepuscule gilded with clouds.

Sounds too far-fetched? Then check the opening to “Osiris Stone”, which not only moves in place, but features a multiplicity of tracks (in a round) chiming in with various ahs and ohs before culminating in the name of the Egyptian god of the dead. While panned with searingly high strings and droplets of pianos, that one word or cognomen is elongated so much it’s easy to become lost in the sheer beauty of these sounds, their languorous feel, and rhythmic enticement.

Actually, as cogent a musician as Summers proves to be on this outing, it’s his vocals—and the vocal production, specifically—that stands out the most, meriting myriad listens to truly appreciate. The introduction on “Chasm” or, more appropriately, the first half of the track before the four-on-the-floor drums take over, hits you with a rich instrumentalism characterized by a doting rhythm guitar and noteworthy chords twanging in the back with another such stringed implement.

But it’s the oohs, the vocals, these background sounds that swiftly take over the foreground, that are the most attractive. Plus, on this one he comes with the poetry, chasing all the lights until you cross the sky and marveling at the spectacle of water that’ss really galvanizing, compelling you to follow just wherever he chooses to lead you on this sojourn.

A glimpse at the man’s titles illustrates the uniqueness and craftsmanship built into the album. Tell me “The Curious Story of Brad Halsey” isn’t as noteworthy a title as The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This time the artist busts out with the electronic bass and fat ass snare, giving you something to groove against.

No, you won’t find too many LPs like this one, not anywhere on the horizon, or likely in the archives, either.

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