Album: Ryan Cabrera: You Stand Watching
Street Date: September 20, 2005
Length: 37:53
Rating: 4
Reviewed by: Joey

Ryan Cabrera's debut album Take It All Away threw this Texas native under the spotlight, especially with his big hits "True" and "On The Way Down". You Stand Watching is his follow-up album, and he sure as hell follows up! I got a chance to see him in concert on August 20th and he was amazing. I couldn't wait for the CD. Needless to say, it didn't disappoint. Maybe it's because his lyrics hit home (it seems like he wrote these songs about me). Here's the track-by-track review.

1. From the Start - When he sang this live, I was just like, "Wow". The lyrics related to me so much, I couldn't believe it. Not only that, the lyrics are really good. The writing on the song is great, and the production is hot. Ryan Cabrera produced this album by himself, which is really cool. It's awesome that his record company gave him that much freedom. This is a really good pop rock song and definitely a highlight of the album.

2. Hit Me With Your Light - His vocals in this song are wow, wow, wow, wow. At one point, he hits G#. I don't know if he could do so live, but his voice sounds amazing in this song. The verses are perfectly paced and the chorus is bouncy and really great. I think he did this song live and it was good. The lyrics are good, the song will get stuck in your head.

3. Shine On - The lead single from the album, this song didn't do too hot on the charts. In fact, the CD is set to debut at about # 30, which is where Vanessa Carlton was with Harmonium. The song, however, is a really catchy song. It's perfect for radio play. The production is good and the vocals are good.

4. Find Your Way - The song starts out with piano and plays off as a very relaxing tune about finding love. The song reminds me a lot of John Mayer. His vocals aren't anything to write home to mom about in this song, but they aren't bad. The arrangement is really good, and the writing is very good. The song isn't one of the highlights, but it's not a throwaway track. The bridge is a good instrumental solo.

5. Photo - Ahhhh! As of now, this is my favorite song on the album. It's the second single off the album. When he did it live, it gave me lotsa chills. The arrangement makes the song. The piano is good and the bouncy feeling is hot. The chorus is SO FRICKEN CATCHY, too. Everything is awesome about this song : lyrics, production, VOCALS, and writing. If Atlantic plays their cards right, this song will be huge.

6. Our Story - This song sounds a lot like his stuff on his first CD. It doesn't have the bounce, lyrics, or vocals to make it really memorable. It's a good song, but definitely one of the weakest songs on the album about being yourself around the person you love. The production is good, but that can't make this track a standout.

7. Fall Baby Fall - This power ballad is about one of Ryan's girlfriends or something getting over sadness by crying. The lyrics are pretty powerful and the vocals are good. The chorus is really well written. The instruments, including strings, are really good. It's not as good as his power-ballad "She's" from his last album, but it's a really good song.

8. Last Night - One of the highlights of the album, this is a very typical pop rock song, but I'm a sucker for this genre. It's got a very catchy chorus, and the verses are pretty good. The production, lyrics, and vocals are all good. If everything's turned on, you can't fail, and this is a perfect example of Ryan Cabrera music. Good song.

9. Walking on Water - This is a very good song about someone being perfect in your eyes. The lyrics are relatable to anybody in love. It's a great love song/ballad. The chorus is forgettable, but the song holds itself together with the verses and bridge. The vocals aren't anything special, but they aren't weak. It's not a highlight of the album, but it's still a really good song.

10. With You Gone - This is a really good song. It's one of the highlights of the album. The lyrics really relate to me and maybe that's why I like it so much, but still. "I will always remember, and I know that it goes with me, I will never leave this part of you behind". The lyrics are good and the writing is good. Good production and vocals round this out to be a very good song.

11. It's You - Possibly one of the three best songs on the CD, "It's You" is a song about true love. Ryan's a hopeless romantic, this song is mostly piano/vocal (with some strings). His voice really accompanies the piano well. The vocals, writing, production, and lyrics are all top notch. This is definitely one of the highlights of the album.

Final Thoughts :
Ryan Cabrera has served up what could possibly be better than his first album. He delivers us great pop rock songs like "Photo", "Hit Me With Your Light" and "Find Your Way" along with some great love ballads, including "It's You". The CD is really good. My only complaint is that it could've been a little longer. The one thing that I'm really impressed with are his vocals. Buy this CD if you want to hear good music.

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