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Ryan Power

World of Wonder (LP)

Label: Feeding Tube Records

Format: LP

Genre: Psych

In stock


"From the sui generis pop songwriting mind of Ryan Power comes World of Wonder, his first album since 2020's Mind the Neighbors. Following a string of influential releases on the Vermont label NNA tapes, World of Wonder is Power’s second release on Massachusetts imprint Feeding Tube Records. While its predecessor presented Power in a largely stripped down, acoustic setting with lush horn and string arrangements, World of Wonder has Power return to his characteristic hyper-produced, high-fidelity home studio to craft a set of ten songs which harmonically undulate, consistently surprise, and which all further solidifies him as one of the most engaging songsmiths of our time.

Power, 48, describes the lyrical content of this album as reckoning with a “midlife crisis” — or maybe more appropriately, myriad crises — which encompass breakups, regrets, reconciliations, a horrific bike accident, childhood traumas, and personal forgiveness through it all. Despite the remarkable candor with which these morose issues are delivered, Power makes sure to convey them with levity and a surprising amount of humor. Power has always lyrically been an open-book, and World of Wonder is perhaps his most personally revealing statement to date. To that point, he says: "I love art where at one second it's hysterically funny, but then at the next it's tugging at your heartstrings."

World of Wonder is laden with imminently catchy earworms, and even as they oscillate in mood and approach, Power never once sacrifices his penchant for songcraft and intricate, crystalline structures. The album opens with the infectious masterpiece "Psychic Mechanic," whose fitting opening line ("again we arrive in the same place") has Power wondering about "how many people [he's] disappointed," within a "jungle of misguided faith." Other highlights include the buoyant “Was That Love,” a reckoning of previous relationships; the highly emotive ballad “Back Online” where Power croons about how “everything is a little precarious;” “Silent Star” where Power mourns the loss of a friendship with the potent “It’s true, I still love you/it’s true, we are through,” the meaning of which comes across despite the line being delivered in something of a British accent; “Dracula Reality” where the singer reflects on being painted as Dracula by his grandfather for Halloween in 1983 but using that as a trojan horse for questions of identity and anxiety of attention on himself.

World of Wonder concludes with the exquisite eponymous track where Power begins by asserting that “[he’s] amazed by the world around [him]” and that he gets “lost in the world of wonder” – within Ryan Power’s idiosyncratic pop universe, we listeners likewise get lost and are astounded by his singular accomplishments." - Sam Weinberg

Cat. number: n/a
Year: 2024
Edition of 500