No Future in the Past
This isn't necessarily a bad thing: plenty of artists, from Joss Stone to Angie Stone, have made a living bring that old school sound back. The difference is, they dusted the old school sound off, freshened it up, modernized it a tad and then unleashed it on the world.
Shaw, however, seems content to not reinvent the wheel. Or even remake the same wheel. He's too busy paying homage through his songs, which are straight-up '50s and '60s era tracks featuring him singing at the top of his lungs. The album's opening (and perhaps best) track, "Do the 45," is a perfect example. It takes the beat from Junior Walker's classic song "Shotgun" and cleverly incorporates it into a song about - depending on your perspective - a dance or a pistol.
Shaw does a great job mimicking a bygone era, but the drawback is there's not enough here that sounds fresh or new. The album might as well be an oldies cover song compilation. And in fact, nine of the album's 12 songs were all originally recorded in the 1970s or earlier. As the saying goes, if you live in the past, you'll die in the past. And for Ryan Shaw, there's no future in music history.