Friday, May 31, 2024

Close to Home By Ryan Judd


Close to Home


Ryan Judd

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The soft palate of a guitar arrangement is one of the most creative and a blissful expression of music and as such the following artist in Ryan Judd is fast becoming known as one of the greats with regard to ambient meditative acoustic guitar music. Ryan has a new album to place on our table of tranquillity, it’s called Close to Home and this is the musical road we must travel on today.

This entire 11 track album is peace personified, if anyone told me about the stress in their lives and asked me if I was aware of any music that would help calm their furrowed brow, without hesitation I would point to Close To Home, just listen to the opening track called Holding This Moment as an example of serene perfection.

The previous track was indeed a single from last year as is this one too and called Dawn’s First Breath, please note the gentleness of performance and the quietening synth pad in the background, both not only redolent of the subject matter, but also of a meditative quality that is utterly sublime.

Close To Home is of course the title track and an original first time offering, I found the musical narrative heart-warming and gentle in its tonal posture. This track alone is like a warm hug from a good friend and never wanting it to end.

Released earlier on this year Space to Breathe was one of, and still is a favourite single of mine, the slow careful floating vibration that comes from its soothing keyboard backdrop, to its wonderfully picked notes make this one of the top quality delights from Ryan’s catalogue.

Now we find ourselves at the mid-way point of the album and as we arrive at this juncture we come across a true gem called Letting Go. This is probably the most important thing one must do in order to be able to move on in life, especially after trauma, and Ryan’s sensitive acoustic performance for me created a reflective and emotive moment of musical delights, one that I am sure to visit many times over in the future.

Silent Horizons is another new piece to me, this has a slight classical feel to its construction, and the harmonics contained within were simply delicious. This is one of those offerings, that you could with ease just drift away to and float into a new realm of utter tranquillity with, I would also rate this as one of the more ambient arrangements from the album as well.

Back in 2023 Ryan released Alone Inside as a single, I remember it well, this composition has a certain rhythm to its progression, and still to this day one that I find most appealing. The softly, softly approach here by the artist is well crafted and leads us perfectly into the next track called A Look in the Mirror, the slight Latin motifs garnered by a single strum add layers to the composition, creating a well of honesty in a piece that is deeply thought provoking and real.

We have now arrived at the penultimate offering of the album and this last but one song is called Radiant Gratitude, the elevated synth and keyboard backdrop here makes a soothing pastiche of colours and textures, and would turn out to be one of my favourites from the release, whilst the final parting gift and the concluding track in Precious Moments presents us eager listeners another former single to end the album with, it’s almost lullaby styled manifestation is idyllic and a perfect piece to part ways with this most beautiful of releases with.

Close to Home by Ryan Judd in my view is a musical panacea to cure all ills, its meditative qualities make this voyage of tone and splendour a cathartic journey for us all to travel on, there can be no doubt that Judd must be regarded as one of the finest ambient acoustic guitarists around today, and as such I firmly believe that Close to Home will seal the deal for many, and make this album a deserved huge hit for the artist.

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