Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Album Review: Ryan Scully - New Confusion

Ryan Scully
New Confusion
**** out of *****

The newest release from New Orleans raconteur Ryan Scully is his first strictly solo album as New Confusion was conceivedwritten and recorded in his Bywater attic studio during the early days of the Covid-19 lock down. Released on Nouveau Electric Records the album expertly captures the uncertainty, fears, and frustration the world has felt since early 2020.

The opening effort "Manhole" is New Confusion's thesis statement, it is the exact song for 2020 as good intentions, fear, confessional malaise and that haunting sense of the unknown pulse together perfectly ensnaring that elusive off putting aura. "Get Meta" continues that feeling as it becomes trippy and dreamlike as the song (and life as a whole) doubles over on itself before dripping into "Covid Sheets" which directly addresses current plights with a bizarre Ween sounding influence before The Flaming Lips sounding "Arrested" locks up the madness.  

Scully’s humor, wit, and rolling funky groove has been honed by working with the likes of Andre WilliamsGibby Haynes and particularly The Morning 40 Federation, are on display during “My Little Phony”, “Look at Papa” and “Babies on the Way” which also brings in modern day societal worries. Those are front and center during “Melania’s Blues” as the punk shreds forth a screed against the wannabe fascist who occupies the White House.

Some of the best tracks come late on the album as “N.O.L.A” is a punked up, troubled theme song for the Crescent City that sounds straight out of the early days of CBGB’s with it's melodic aggression and double meanings. New Confusion closes with the gorgeous acoustic confessional “Go Home” as Scully leaves listeners via an emotional tale that proves one more is never enough.

Capturing these nebulous times with all the grace, anger and absurdity they deserve, New Confusion cuts to the heart on topics of the moment; isolationism, political revolution, and becoming unstuck in time. It is a very fitting album for this unparalleled year of existence on the planet as the world shifts under our collective feet. 
RtBE are friends with Scully, having reviewed his music in the past and have helped him promote this record. That doesn't change our critical review however, this is a good one. 

Support the artist, buy the album and stream it below:

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