Many years after the release of his Status Quo inspired ‘State of Shock’ EP, it’s clear that Ricky Owen has developed as a musician and performer. Through plenty of practice, live performances and the odd Youtube cover, Owen has become a sharp player with vivid influences; but doesn’t allow any single thing to dominate his sound. Where Do You Go To Pretend is the new EP from the Australian singer-songwriter, and (in my opinion) it’s pretty marvellous!
There are clear nods to his Quo roots and influence through tracks like 7-minute epic The Hunter and Little Lies, but there are some surprising directions here. The single, Beautiful Madness, is a 1980s style power ballad with many layers. The title track is a song filled with optimistic energy that would sound great in a stadium. All of these elements are collected together into the final track, Behind Your Eyes; a slow-burning start leads onto a full-on finale.
The mix of soaring vocals and piano underlay mixed with hooky guitar riffs is a winning combination for Owen; his production moulding them together nicely. The shift between bouncy and thoughtful on some songs appear effortless, as though he has really found his groove. This is the first professional EP from him, but it sounds like he has been accomplished for many years. In some ways he has, but this is a first step towards utilizing the skills he has learnt.
Aside from this EP, he has confirmed that an album is incoming, but a high standard has been set. I have known of Ricky for some time, and am bowled over with his effort on this EP. If you have never heard of Ricky Owen, I would suggest you jump on the train and rock!