Audrey Ryan certainly does not grade her records on a curve. The Maine-born Boston-based singer-songwriter clearly sees each album as a long-term project that she will see through to its satisfactory conclusion.
It is very much to her credit that Sirens, her latest release, does not sound like what its press release says it is: “a collection of lost songs she recorded between 2005 [and] 2010 yet never formally released.”
Normally this would imply that the songs are forgivably—even charmingly—imperfect, anywhere from a little to a very rough around the edges, and just not ready for the close scrutiny that would accompany a major release.
The 10 songs on Sirens, however, sound like Ms. Ryan wrote and recorded them for people to hear one right after the other. None of the songs seem older than any of the others. Each sounds as if it were written specifically for a 2012 recording.
One can include only so many songs on each album, and a thoroughly able songstress such as Audrey Ryan will inevitably write more than enough good songs for each one. Sirens is her reward for cashing in her songwriting credits, points, tickets, or whatever.
Thankfully, it is a reward that she has been kind enough to share with her listeners.
CLARENDON HILL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (AKA THE NAVE)
155 POWDERHOUSE BLVD