10 January, 2015 in Music Reviews
Already released as singles, this collection of beautifully written songs becomes even more effective when put together as an album
ith nine tracks from The Elusive Yes having already been released as singles, the big question facing Ryan Hobler was always going to be whether or not his latest collection of songs would also work as a traditional album. Thankfully he’s pulled it off spectacularly, with the same effortless style we’ve come to associate with his music. Supplemented with three additional tracks, The Day We Last Spoke, I Fell Asleep and Holding On With All Their Might, Hobler has recorded an album which proves he’s a songwriter of unparalleled skill, managing that elusive trick of being both introspective and universally appealing.
A versatile craftsman, Hobler is equally accomplished at writing tributes to love’s healing balm, I Have Love, I Have You personal reflections about loss The Day We Last Spoke or rockabilly jaunts that rush along like a train robbery Bob vs. Jack vs. The World. There are hints of Helplessness Blues era Fleet Foxes on All Along and the fragility of Elliott Smith is apparent on album closer Down Came The Fourth Wall complete with the haunting line “Until a voice inside her head said, I would rather end this now than feel so dead”.
What holds The Elusive Yes together is Hobler’s warm and inviting vocal. The album has a soothing feeling to it akin to the relief of finally letting your guard down and inviting someone special into your life. Described by the artist himself as ‘Americana noir’ these are songs of peerless quality which deserve to stand the test of time and become part of music’s great history.
Verdict: Effortlessly appealing modern Americana.