Music » Critics' Picks

Ryan Cabrera

8 p.m. Monday, July 3. Mississippi Nights (914 North First Street)


Sure, Ryan Cabrera may be best known for his failed relationship with Ashlee Simpson, but beneath the flat-iron Stegosaurus 'do, the scorned man is one hell of a pop-rocker. Although plenty of teenage girls blindly reel for his lovelorn lyrics, Cabrera's resonant tenor and effortless falsetto separate him from the whiny boy-band set and give him musical credibility. In fact, Cabrera exhibits a knack for intricate guitar work, melodic movement and hummable hooks, which undoubtedly engages anyone with an open mind — particularly fans of his audiöppelgangers, Train and the Goo Goo Dolls. (The latter's vocalist, Johnny Rzeznik, even co-produced Cabrera's 2004 Atlantic debut, Take It All Away.) Cabrera's pop chops are bound to keep him relevant long after Simpson is out of syndication.