*This is part of a series of posts, please refer to the parent post for context*
I’ll admit, I wasn’t crazy about this album at first. Perhaps it’s because I was introduced to Ryan Star at a live show in 2009, and bought Songs from the Eye of an Elephant, which captured a lot of that year for me. That album had a dark and twisty singer-songwriter vibe, so when I first heard 11:59, I wasn’t a big fan of the shift to a more pop-radio style. I’ve outed myself as a lover of depressing music on many occasions, so after thinking about it, it’s no surprise that my first reaction was “What happened to the dark & twisty!?” The neat thing about this album is that it’s still there – Star’s voice has a smoky intensity that keeps the songs serious and anchored. The imagery is consistent, building a cohesive vacillation between the past and the future with a reminder to live in the present. The production additions alter the songs to be more radio friendly and actually make the overall album more hopeful – narratives about love, loss, relationships, memory, and time aren’t new to music, but they are certainly themes that can get depressing. I appreciate the approach to nostalgia the album embodies as it reminds us that we are a sum of our experiences – that every experience with love and loss is a chance to find what we’re looking for and become the person we’re meant to be.
- "Let the life that you live be all that you need."
- "I’m throwing rocks at your window, you’re tying bedsheets together. They say we’re dreaming too big, I say this town’s too small."
- "Lying on the grass now, dancing for the stars, maybe one will look on down and tell us who we are."
- Start a Fire (I seriously can't get enough of this song)
- Losing Your Memory