Twenty-two year old Dustin Ruth helms from Washington state and is no stranger to the independent music scene. Having been a part of a few underground acts, Ruth's debut solo project Inside Out marks the first time he's ventured out on his own.
Inside Out is an ambitious indie rock effort. From the opening notes of the title track, the album may somewhat beguile the listener to expect a collection of rock anthems. But when Ruth's fragile and untrained vocals come in, the song loses its strength. At times, Ruth's vocals can be best compared to that of Everyday Sunday's Trey Pearson, but without the control and range Pearson possesses.
Lyrical themes on the album are mostly personal. "San Diego" is an upbeat revelation of unrealized dreams and the loneliness that can result from it. Ruth's lyrics are poetic at times but not fully utilized as they could be. However, his heart is indeed in the right place as evidenced in the more worshipfully penned title track and "Eric."
As flawed as Inside Out might be, shimmers of potential are seen throughout this release. With the right production guidance (and perhaps stronger mixing) and a little more focus on melody, we just might hear greater things from Dustin Ruth in the near future.- Review date: 2/3/05, written by John DiBiase
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