Lee Ryan
by Lee Ryan, pop (2005)

Hey, look, it's another former Blue member releases a debut solo CD! Lee Ryan was arguably one of the most popular Blue member and he handled most of the prominent vocal duties. Lee Ryan sees him following the radio-friendly path that other former boyband members like Gary Barlow and Ronan Keating had taken. There are plenty of derivative ballads and some uptempo numbers that won't scare little girls into growing out of their Smash Hits-reading phase anytime soon. The publicity blitz can honk all they want about Lee Ryan following the steps of Marvin Gaye and Luther Vandross but Lee Ryan is all about being safe and predictable while entertaining me immensely at the same time.

Tracks like Army Of Lovers and How Do I are however a step up from Blue ballads in the sense that Mr Ryan actually manages to convey enough nuances and even passion in his voice to give these songs a soulful depths not found in previous Blue ballads like If You Come Back. Midtempo broody tunes like Turn Your Car Around (my favorite track in this CD by far - it's too catchy for words), Jump, and Wish The Whole World Knew are the fabulous kind of songs to listen to and sing along with because their catchy John Mellencamp type of melodies are perfect for pick-me-up purposes.

While not a revelation like his fellow ex-bandmate Simon Webbe's solo debut, Lee Ryan entertains immensely like it should. If Lee Ryan can somehow avoid the career paths taken by Gary Barlow and Ronan Keating, he may just turn out alright after all.

Rating: 86

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