Ryan Ferguson - Only Trying To Help
"Only Trying To Help" is like a new Paul Westerberg record; there is greatness in there somewhere, but laziness prevented it from shining through. At least with PW, there was past evidence of brilliance; Ferguson (ex-No Knife) hasn’t had much to show yet, so we have to hope that the flashes here will point to something greater down the road.
That this is straight-on pop rock is not the problem; "Remission" and "The Imposter" shimmer with great hooks and literate lyrics, and it is tracks like these that hint at more to come. But too often the record is bogged down in repetitive melody, the requisite acoustic tracks and love/love-lost that are too formulaic to bust out into the mystic. Ryan Ferguson has the chops to deliver much better.
Even a quick, frustrating spin of "Only The Lonely" will prove that. But damn if you won’t want to shake the guy up and make him get a little more gone. Westerberg, Chilton and Tommy Keene showed that bright, sharp pop can cut like the best punk; Ferguson knows this too. Now here’s hoping he gets to work on the real gravy
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