Ron Young

Intensive Care

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Intensive Care is the debut and only full-length release from Ron Young, a dramatic soft rock singer/songwriter who sounds like a gentler, more country Meatloaf. The singer's breathy voice barely holds the few actual melodies that he attempts to articulate. This is a strange tendency considering the structural and thematic style of his music. The material calls out for deep, pained legato choruses, but Young hasn't the desire or perhaps the physical tools to comply. Typically, artists who mine the veins of moody earnestness sans melodic focus have poetic or stylistic skills sufficient to distract from their limited vocal delivery. Sadly, the obvious, overly sincere nature of Young's prose carries nothing like the kind of weight needed to sanctify these dubious performances. Trite images -- like "You've been swept away in a hurricane/And your heart's run off and gone up in flames" from "Christina" -- abound on Intensive Care, setting an uncomfortably high cringe factor that's maintained throughout the disc. The musical performances are solid and the production is fine, but this one-off from Young is much too hackneyed and sappy to be given any kind of recommendation.

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