Sunday, August 15, 2010

From "Rock Star: Supernova" to Ryan Star, Supernova

If there was an award for hardest working man in show biz, Ryan Star would certainly be a top contender. Over the past two years on tour, the 32 year old singer-songwriter opened for some big rock acts, including David Cook, Collective Soul, Rob Thomas and currently Thriving Ivory. In between he's headlined at some of the hottest clubs across the country. Last week his first major label album, 11:59, debuted at 31 on the Billboard 200 chart (#10 on BB's Top Rock Albums chart).

Star's rise to fame began as a standout contestant in the CBS reality show Rock Star: Supernova in the summer of 2006. Although he didn't win that competition, he caught the attention of the show's executive producer, Mark Burnett, who set up Star and the show's house band to record a live album, to help jump start his career. He returned to the show on week 11 (with the help of his fans through voting), to do an encore performance of the song "Back of Your Car." He was awarded a Honda CRV.

Star grew up in the Long Island, NY, town of Dix Hills. When he was 14 he formed his first band, Stage. When the band parted ways, Star went solo. A year before Rockstar: Supernova Ryan put out an album called "Songs From the Eye of An Elephant." It's a sensational collection of mostly stripped down piano and guitar backed vocals.

After Rock Star: Supernova Star signed with Atlantic Records and began working on 11:59. The label wanted to develop Ryan as an artist with a fanbase before releasing the ablum - a process that took nearly four years. During that time, several of the songs found life on television and in the movies. "Brand New Day" became the theme song for the Fox hit series Lie To Me, "Last Train Home" appeared on the soundtrack of the movie P.S. I Love You, and "This Could Be the Year" was used by HBO to promote the network's 2010 season. To get these songs to fans in 2009, Atlantic released an EP containing those three songs plus the hit radio single "Breathe" and ultimate up-tune "Right Now."

Since The Flaming Nose focuses on TV rather than music, I won't give a full review of 11:59, except to say that it is superb and I highly recommend it. If you like rock, pop-rock and rock ballads, with passionate vocals and brilliant lyrics, then this album is for you. The themes range from optimistic to sexy. And they are sung from the heart, with deep conviction. I highly recommend the deluxe version on itunes since it contains three additional tracks plus three music videos.

"Enjoy The Silence" cover from "Rock Star: Supernova"

"Breathe" live at 11:59 CD Release Show in NYC, 8/4/10

"Start A Fire" live at 11:59 CD Release show in NYC, 8/4/10

"Last Train Home" official music video

"Breathe" official music video
"Right Now" official music video

11:59 is available at all major retailers (Target, Best Buy, Walmart etc), on and on itunes.

Ryan's website has an activie community forum and provides up-to-the-minute news and information about Ryan, his appearances and his tour. Tons of great photos too.


Jo said...

Love the review!!! Ryan is an amazing talent and the only way for him is to the top!!!!!

eilonwy said...

Ah! I hadn't realized how TV and movie placements were used to build Star's audience. That was nicely done work, though of course he's also more than paid his dues on tour.

I second the recommendation to buy the deluxe version. The album hangs together cohesively, and then the three extra tracks leave one demanding "why weren't these in the basic version?" That means they've earned their bonus pay.

Jane said...

I had no idea how popular Ryan Star had gotten. Great post Scott!