July 29, 2021 George Ragan The Dead Son – The Abyss (Album Review)
The co-founder of Hollywood Undead, Johnny 3 Tears (aka George Ragan), is keeping himself busy. He recently delivered his debut solo album, The Abyss, under the guise of George Ragan The Dead Son on Friday, May 14, 2021 via BMG.
Presenting 11 tracks that last for about 40 minutes, The Abyss might initially shock Hollywood Undead fans, who are already familiar with Ragan’s vocal performance. But here, he turns toward Country and Rock; so definitely not the typical sound of Hollywood Undead. In fact, these 11 songs are mostly smooth and mellow, often with sad lyrics that carry a heaviness spiked with a little bit of hope. More specifically, Ragan’s solo work tends to center on death and how easy life seems when you are young and innocent.
One of the more upbeat songs, “Bring Me Down” provides that spark of light in the darkness that death tends to invite. It is followed by “The Day I Die,” a song that discusses who will be on your side the day you die. Meanwhile, album opener “All Gone” and “Heaven Can Wait” are the first two singles that have been released in support of the LP. The latter, “Heaven Can Wait,” is an upbeat song with a catchy chorus, though if the listener pays attention to its lyrics, this song too is about death.
Each of the arrangements throughout The Abyss feature a clean guitar that is drawing much of your attention, complementing with Ragan’s beautifully sung vocals. And most people will be able to relate to what Ragan has to say on the record, as it is a collection of songs that will get everyone thinking. In fact, once the music has ended, you will likely sit in silence for a moment to let the experience of The Abyss sink in.
While death is something no one likes to talk about, it is inevitable. And once confronted with its harsh reality, things that once seemed important are suddenly meaningless; and this inspires a strange reassessment of life and personal priorities. Though this fact of life is a tough and complex topic, Ragan has wrapped it into beautiful melodies that will ease the pain and shed some light into even the darkest corners.
With The Abyss, George Ragan The Dead Son is surely opening up some wounds. And his solo debut contains 11 songs about innocence and the happiness of youth, that is, until you are confronted with the inevitability of death. Understandably, this loss dredges up pain, forcing each individual to wonder about their own mortality. It is a heavy topic, one with an emotional weight that is likely to inspire each listener to lose themselves in their own thoughts on the subject. But for Ragan, it’s a proud debut that shows a serious songwriter who is not afraid to confront uncomfortable topics. For this, Cryptic Rock gives The Abyss 5 out of 5 stars.