As an expansive and penetrating take on Leonard Cohen's ageless Sisters Of Mercy leads confidently into a soulful and wiry This Wheel's On Fire', you say to yourself "Hmmm, sounds like Ryder's got something going here." Unfortunately, most of the interpretations on this disc don't quite hold up to her most promising start.
Ryder's big, husky, lived-in voice and occasionally inspired restructurings of songs we thought we knew well—the above mentioned, along with a gospel flavored rave of Paul Anka's It Doesn't Matter Anymore and the searing psychedelica of (Take Me For A Walk In The) Morning Dew that would make The Grateful Dead proud. But what Ryder should explore more is her own songs. Strangely, three of them seem attached to the end of the disc as a second thought, which they don't deserve to be. Weak In The Knees is a tough, Marianne Faithful styled ballad, while the 60's-ish girl group pop of Out Of The Blue and the rhythmic, radio friendly Just Another Day point to avenues of expression Ryder must consider to stay on our radar.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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