A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that it's kind of refreshing to hear this much "can't live without you" breathlessness from a guy, but it still gets tedious after a while.
What's the story?
Sometimes known as Ashlee Simpson's ex-boyfriend, Ryan Cabrera is also a Texas-born high-school dropout with the potential to become an excellent singer/songwriter/journeyman musician if he can only keep his focus. A darn good singer and guitarist, he attacks his material with passion and sincerity as well as genuine talent. It's the actual material that's the problem on TAKE IT ALL AWAY. Love-song lyrics cover the same tedious ground with little originality or poetry. (He whines that he has trouble breathing on four different tracks, for one example, and falls back on so many other lovesick clichés that the lyric book almost reads like a parody.)
Is it any good?
Despite the somewhat tedious love song monotony, there's enough energy and talent here to carry the day. A charismatic and agile singer and fine guitarist, Cabrera makes it work, somehow, on one drippy song after another. Honing his songwriting skills -- or performing great material written by others -- could make a crucial difference in his future.