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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AllMusic Review by Tammy La Gorce