Easy listening for the nÜ-metal crowd aptly describes VonRay's eponymous debut.

Easy listening for the nü-metal crowd aptly describes VonRay's eponymous debut. Yet, the immediately comfortable feel to much of the ballad-heavy album is welcoming. VonRay's first single, "Inside Out," which also appears on the soundtrack to Smallville, starts things off on the right foot with its simple, heartfelt melody. Throughout VonRay, the voice of the group's frontman, Vaughan Rhea, manages to be delicate and soaring at the same time, while many of the main hooks dig in pretty quick. That musical competency largely forgives the saccharine spiritual tone of much of the album's songwriting ("Learning to fly/Learning to hold my head up high," for example). Because VonRay has the playing chops to add spice, a manic guitar riff or a screeching vocal would have been very welcome. Perhaps next time.—SA