A new LP release from Starry Ray delivers an honest and soulful performance that crosses genre boundaries from Americana and country to contemporary pop and so much more all rolled into one lush and full-bodied album release that comes through personal and graceful.
'Ask No Questions' hits with such robust character and persona that it's almost impossible to look away from because it feels almost like you've sat with a friend that you haven't seen in a while and spoke with them by the time the album's over.
You feel like you know the artist better is what I mean, and I think that's an attribute that we don't get that often anymore so with this release it was very refreshing.
These songs have such a beautiful array of instrumentation from beginning to end from piano to lap steel, some vocals are so flowing that at times they're just used as instruments themselves.
The guitar work on this record is great as well and she certainly doesn't shy from that blues rock tonality from time to time on the record because when that comes up, she sure belts with that robust voice of hers.
Some of the stuff even feels like its classic rock influenced then I love that undertone as well because it's never overdone and the way that a lot of these songs are performed and written, gives them breathing room and lets them feel alive.
Songs can sway and swell with intensity and with musical drive.
Some keys are used as orchestral strings and when those come into play, things feel even bigger and there's this certain atmosphere that's created for you to step into.
I also think that because there is a certain sort of connectivity between a lot of the songs the record might be a concept album of sorts.
A lot of songs feel like they serve as chapters of the songwriter's life in a way, and I dig that because it gets you in a little bit closer.
The other reason I bring this up is because this is the kind of record that you should be listening to from beginning to end as opposed to just a few singles at a time.
Don't get me wrong, there are some songs that stand on their own two feet as singles amazingly, but listening to the full album as a whole is the way it was supposed to be soaked in so you can get your head around everything.
This record has layers and surprises around some of the corners so skipping songs isn't going to do you any good.
There are chunks of this album that give me a cinematic feel as well like you can hear some of these songs in the scene of a film or TV show for example and that has a lot to do with the arrangement and the production of the record, which is super spot on, clean, and there's also this amazing dynamic balance musically between everything on the record.
There's a lot to be said about a record with this much character involved because it gives you a lot more to grasp onto and it makes the songs all the more relatable to the listener.
Some of these tracks even cause memories of my own to pop into my head at random which is not something that happens a lot.
All in all, this is beautifully done and I'm going to give this a 9 out of 10 straight up.
But don't take my word for it, have a listen to this record, and set aside a good hour or so because if you like one song, you're going to like them all.