Artist: Ryan Smith Track: "Girls With the Glasses" Album: Girls With the Glasses
Local singer-songwriter Ryan Smith's music has always combined the light banter and vibe of college rock with the graver, well-crafted styling of alt-country. His previous full-length, Neil Avenue, was a tribute both to his house on that notable street and the time he spent there writing tunes about the trials and tribulations of a kind-hearted Ohio boy.
"Girls With the Glasses," a new single on his MySpace page that will likely be distributed at his regular shows around town, continues his simple tradition and that of other rootsy songwriters content to sing their tunes, play their gigs and see what happens.
Unfortunately, the new track doesn't quite have the balance that made Smith's other stuff listenable, often enjoyable, at both keggers and coffee shops. The poppier, almost island-sounding background - which would be more at home on a Jimmy Buffet record - isn't properly tempered by the working-class gusto that Smith shows on earlier material.
For good meaure, check out "That Girl" - also on his MySpace page - a different and better song about getting and losing a desirable young woman.
The Alive! podcast with Smith, in which he does some stripped-down acoustic versions, is available on iTunes.