Ryan Star, "11:59"

69 Billboard Rating

Long Island native Ryan Star delivers a melodic soft-rock package with his first full-length album, "11:59." The former Stage frontman gained buzz last fall when he released the video for his first solo single, "Breathe," a power-rock anthem that addresses the country's unemployment issue. The song "Right Now" begins with a cheerleader-type clap that quickly dissolves into a Jimi Hendrix-style guitar lick, and Star's low, raspy vocals add an unexpected edge. The singer's voice throughout the set has a rocker-gruff quality that often stretches into melodic overtones, as displayed on the track "This Could Be the Year." Heavy guitars dominate most of "11:59," but the pace changes toward the end of the set with "Losing Your Memory," which features a gentle piano intro and a surprise bagpipe accompaniment. Star gives an impressive delivery on the emotional track, belting about the loss of his place in a loved one's heart. ("Wake up, it's time/ Little girl, wake up/Just remember who I am in the morning/You're losing your memory now.")

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