Ringside

Ringside

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

Ringside's excellent debut couldn't go down any easier, and for that the duo of Scott Thomas and the actor Balthazar Getty deserve pop music's highest props. Given the pair's Hollywood connections -- a press release has mastermind Thomas designing clothes for No Doubt as a sideline while Getty's off on film shoots -- they might have made a messier, less accessible disc and gotten away with it, but theirs is a sound that's tight, immediate, and appealingly modish. It's also beat-friendly, a setup that would seem at odds with Thomas' indie rock-style lyrics but isn't (for proof, look no further than the disaffected, down-in-the-dumps exercise in uplift that is "Struggle," Ringside's first song and a precedent-setter). Genre-melding -- here, of pop, rock, and electronica -- is rarely this surefooted; paired with Thomas' wiry, Eels-like voice, each song feels at once experimental and lived-in. Given its due, the disc could propel beat master Getty on a path that's purely musical -- a career switch few might regret, considering the klunker that was White Squall.

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