Ryanhood, The World Awaits (Four Miles Music, 2009)

Ryanhood are an acoustic power-pop duo based in Tuscon, Arizona, consisting of Ryan Green and Cameron Hood. Both sing and play acoustic guitar, although Hood does most of the lead vocals and Green does the lead runs on guitar. Their newest CD The World Awaits features pleasant two-part harmonies and a lot of readily accessible mid-tempo melodies.

Ryanhood strike me as the kind of band whose audience would likely be mostly female, but I hope that doesn't sound too dismissive from a guy's perspective. Hood and Green have devised a formula that should have very broad crossover appeal, combining dueling energetic acoustic guitars with good vocals and a steady bass-and-drum backing. Fans of country, folk, and rock should like The World Awaits equally well. Ryanhood have a better sense of melody and harmony than many more popular acts, and presumably good singing and good tunes are still the best way to open doors in the music world. Indeed, the album is very radio-friendly from start to finish, and I'm kind of surprised that their following is still presently confined mostly to Arizona. "Stopless" is the primary single off the album, although I'm partial to the more groove-oriented "Nothing but the Real Thing." They also do a really good instrumental called "Appy Jam," in which Green shows off his considerable chops.

The World Awaits isn't necessarily groundbreaking, but it's a likable collection of well-sung and well-played pop songs that should go over well with a much broader audience than Ryanhood currently have. If these guys can catch a lucky break, the world may very well await them.

Overall grade: B+

reviewed by Scott

A live performance of "Nothing but the Real Thing"

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