Ben Ryan Metzger is a pop artist from Cleveland, OH. His goal with his work is to share his love and positive energy through music and inspire listeners around the world to appreciate their precious, finite time on earth. Metzger’s current project “Ride With The One You Love” is no exception. Indie, pop, dance, electronic, rap and artsy … all are good adjectives to describe Metzger’s latest album. Poetic and insightful lyrics accompany great beats and strong synth sounds to make a truly unique album. Some songs are nostalgic sounding, like they miss a past of innocence, while others bring a series of positively inspiring anecdotes to the table. Ben Ryan Metzger is definitely doing something new here, but he is obviously heavily influenced by the past.
Metzger knows how to make soundscapes. Catchy soundscapes, at that. There are indeed some notable tracks. The first of these is the title track, “Ride With The One You Love”, which begins with strikingly raw vocals as an electronica-laced bouncing beat and a thumping bassline adds a jovial nature to proceedings. Meanwhile, the album’s barometer quickly reaches an apex on the epic second track, “Make It So Jean-Luc Picard”, which sees Metzger use varying tones of his voice – from deep baritone passages, to wistful falsetto motifs.
Musically complex and the most likely cut to grow on a listener, this arguably could be seen as a summation of the entire album’s sound all rolled into one. “Nba Today The World We Save”, sees Ben Ryan Metzger comfortably slide into rap-styled verses, before once again switching styles on the funky retro-disco cut “Math Dance”.
It is when Metzger slips into his baritone voice, that I find him most impressive, coming off sounding like mix between Dave Gahan and Elvis Presley. In fact “Unbeatable Avenger Rambo Terminator” is a perfect example of this unique hybrid crossover, as the dark resonating tones of Gahan meet the raunchy drawl of Elvis.
None of that betrays the fact that Metzger still sounds like Metzger at heart. Despite infusing the songs with a heightened electronic quotient, these are songs that are still nostalgic for any given yesterday. It’s this kind of juxtaposition that Ben Ryan Metzger pulls off so well and maintains throughout their record.
Each track manages to flow into the next with relative ease all without sacrificing atmosphere or the summery pop-dance feel across the albums eight tracks. It’s because of this admirable creative chemistry that Metzger manages to get away with this amalgamation of sounds, without coming off as overstuffed or undecidedly grasping at straws.
This confidence and spontaneity even allows Metzger to include “Believeland” which is a live track. By now you would have noticed that Metzger also has the gift of giving his tracks tongue-twisting, tongue-in-cheek titles, such as, “Sharknado Secret You Don’t Know”.
Metzger then closes the album down with eloquent ballad, “One Moment With You”, which is also a live rendition of the song. Each track on “Ride With The One You Love” can stand on isolated listens, but the album really fluctuates as a whole, the listener picking up things gone unnoticed on previous album cycles, consolidating the entire record.