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DC9 - Best Song #12 Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 December 2010
The Dallas Observer's local music blog DC9 At Night is currently posting "The Best Songs In Dallas Music, 2010" online
and they chose our friend Ryan Thomas Becker's track "So Speak" off the "Neighborhoof" album we released as their #12 "Best Song."

"Technically, Ryan Thomas Becker's latest solo album, Neighborhoof (no, that's not a typo), didn't come out in 2010. It came out in 2009, at the very tail end. Given the timing of these year-end lists, it didn't make our 2009 cut. But it very much makes our 2010 one -- mostly because it's incredibly deserving. Like pretty much everything Becker does. Long hailed for his animated live performances both in solo settings and as part of his main gig in RTB2, Neighborhoof highlights a different side of Becker -- a softer side. And whereas RTB2, more often than not, flashes Becker's monumental guitar-playing talents, Neighborhoof, by turning the volume down a few notches, finds Becker establishing himself as one of the great songwriting talents of the region. Really, the entire album stands as such a testament. It's a vast collection that showcases his many different sides as a performer. But they all stand as proof of one thing: When it comes to immediately classic Americana takes, no one in the region can top Becker. In many ways, he's a performer that seems somewhat out of place in the modern era. Other artists in the region painstakingly strive from retro-leaning sounds; for Becker and his classic rock sound, it all seems to come quite easily -- and not as some sort of statement on trends, but rather as a statement on proper taste. All throughout Neighborhoof, that much smacks listeners in the face -- but never moreso than on the album closer, "So Speak," which jumps out because, for the most part, it's so different from the rest of this performer's catalog. Less a rock song and more a somber pop romp, "So Speak" boasts perhaps the most tasteful guitar play we've heard in these past 12 months. And it's a special kind of tasteful, too -- the kind that, in a lesser performer's hands, might come off somewhat cheesy. In Becker's hands, though, it's just another adornment toward the song's heart-wrenching end. And, in the end, 2010 proved a storybook one for Becker. In a far less heart-wrenching and far more heart-warming turn, Becker and his playing partner in RTB2, drummer Grady Don Sandlin, who faced incredibly stiff competition in this year's Dallas Observer Music Awards, walked away from our awards ceremony with the title of Best Group in the region. For good reason, too. Becker's among the region's greatest musical treasures. And with Sandlin by his side -- as he is on Neighborhoof, too, providing the drum beat and graciously removing his name from the big lights -- no one else was more deserving."


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