Best known for placing sixth on Rock Star: Supernova in 2006, Ryan Star returns with a much-delayed major-label debut album filled with second-rate pop rock and a formula he beats senseless: He takes his brooding rasp from a muttered whisper to an overwrought rock howl about nine times too many. Veering off the format once with "Start a Fire," Star actually said he wanted to sound like "Katy Perry meets Pearl Jam." Oddly enough, the description is accurate. Not so strangely, the song is about as unnecessary as that sounds. The album's highlight is Star's hit single for the unemployed, "Breathe." But like most reality-show stars, you're better off listening to the artists they're trying to emulate.
- Ryan Starr
- Mark Burnett/Atlantic
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