Honey Ryder’s third album Born in a Bottle is in a very similar vein to their previous album Marley’s Chains which had previously impressed me. I would describe both as being a mix of folk/pop with contemporary country influences (their first album, Rising Up, recorded when they were a duo, had a rockier edge). Both were recorded partly in the UK, partly in Nashville, they have some co-writers and session musicians in common and the production on both albums is excellent. Once again Honey Ryder have struck a good mix between ballads and more up-tempo numbers, the latter of which have some very catchy choruses and hooks which I found myself singing along with straight away. This seems to be a particular talent of theirs! The vocals (both lead and harmonies) are consistently strong throughout. Generally speaking, the lyrical content is excellent (listen to the opening lines of “Hitting the High Note”, genius!) and whilst the age-old subject of love is prevalent in many of the songs it is approached in some more unusual ways and clichés are avoided. Of these, “Mirage” (which tackles the subject of a failing relationship which appears fine to the outside world) “What if We’ve only Got Tonight?” (about lovers making up after an argument, I particularly love the guitar on this one and there’s a really infectious chorus…..kiss me ’til the wrongs are right……real single material) and “Damn it I’m in Love Again” (about being tempted by a new love after a period of abstinence…… there’s an air of mystery here, like with a lot of good songs, why intentionally avoid love for 3 years?) are the stand-outs. “Take it Away” is a total heartstring tugger about having the courage to walk out of a controlling relationship, sung with particularly wonderful feeling. Admittedly there is one totally unabashed love song, “Years From Now”, but it cleverly avoids being overly syrupy and also won me over due to its beautiful string arrangement. Overall this is an excellent record and bodes well for Honey Ryder achieving global success.
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