Ryan Aderrey – “Breathe the World In”
Record companies can fall, digital can overtake physical sales, but the big screen pop song with melody to burn always has a place at the table. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Clichés have driven the music business since time immemorial and the articulate, good looking young man with a serviceable, if not occasionally soulful, voice always has a chance at pop stardom. Most fade as quickly as they arrive. They are sugary confections trading on a sonic smorgasbord of formula changes that have limited shelf life. Purposefully so. There’s little question that Ryan Aderrey’s single, “Breathe the World In”, aspires to occupying a lofty perch in the history of big screen pop songs and bandies a few clichés about in hopes of scoring chart success. However, there’s even less question that Aderrey, as a man and artist, is pushing towards a deeper art that genre conventions cannot hold.
He attempts stretching its boundaries, but saddling a rousing pop song with an useless rap and a music-free interlude animated only by ambient urban noises creates more problems than it solves. It’s an earnest attempt to do something different, but this isn’t the song for such experimentation. Instead, Aderrey should have played the track straight and concentrated on further refining his lyrical content and working up a deeply emotive vocal. Future recording should aim at balancing the commercial appeal of melody with more organic backing. This track never grovels in the fluff like many similar efforts, but often flirts with crossing the line.
Aderrey sometimes undermines the track with an unenthusiastic vocal that poorly, if at all, invokes the song’s message of bravely confronting life and experience. It isn’t lack of skill. Instead, Aderrey sings like someone attempting a more stylized reading of the track and, perhaps, more sympathetic to the music. Aderrey needs to stamp his authority over the music in much stronger way on the choruses, but never does. The entire lyric gets a “one size fits all” vocal that dramatically underplays the song’s potential.
The track has its highlights. It has a steady press and gentle sweep thanks to virtually metronomic percussion, but, more importantly, hard changing acoustic guitar buried deep in the mix. Aderrey has a strong, interesting voice that has helped him rise to the precipice of prominence and it serves him well here.