Beatty breaks out in ‘Dreaming of David’

Photo courtesy of Interscope Records

Coolest boy at the party Ryan Beatty released his second album since reinventing his sound. In the early 2010s’, Beatty was seen as a teenage pop heartthrob, or a JV Justin Bieber. After a two year hiatus, he has returned to the limelight with a completely evolved sound and appearance. His first album, “Boy in Jeans,” tackled his coming out and navigating his sexuality as a former mainstream pop heartthrob. 

In the past few years, Beatty has also become an affiliate of hip hop collective, Brockhampton,  and been featured by artists Tyler the Creator and Benny Blanco. This latest album, “Dreaming of David,” draws from this experience and confirms that he is more than just a has-been
teen heartthrob. 

To label “Dreaming of David” as a pop album feels like a disservice. This album urges listeners to recognize the layers that make up each song. Beatty does a phenomenal job in merging dream pop with atmospheric or ambient pop. Ryan Beatty’s somber lyrics make him the “sad boy” of listeners’ dreams. 

The album is composed of a dozen tracks and mimics a dream from start to finish. If “Boy in Jeans” is summer, then “Dreaming of David” is definitely winter. It is beautiful in a dreary kind of way and comes from a place of incidental sadness. 

One of the first singles released off this album, “Dark Circles” begins with a calypso-like rhythm that is similar to an early 2000s ringtone. The heavily distorted vocals would make for a good background at a rave. The relaxing and steady rhythms are juxtaposed against the coarse vocals. 

Marking the end of the first half of the album is “Evergreen,” a song that perfectly sets the stage for a slightly more dream-pop second half. Beatty uses guitar loops to provide listeners the illusion of spinning in circles. “Evergreen” is a dizzyingly haunting track that puts listeners in a
dreamlike trance.   

“Backseat” begins with gentle rain and layered with guitar loops and quiet chatter. This track marks the first time that the listener truly gets to hear Beatty’s cutting tone. His angelic vocals demand attention and are just above a whisper. His lyrics are a snapshot of a relationship that has since ended. 

Final standout track “Casino” is a simple yet stunning song. This track incorporates anecdotal lyrics and speaks from a place of fresh heartbreak. The lyrics “Love me to death or don’t give me anything” are repeated over and over again. This line is bound to get stuck in listeners’ heads and create an unsettling feeling. This track makes for the best introduction for someone that has never listened to Beatty. It is the perfect combination of experimental-pop with radiofriendly vocals. 

Ryan Beatty’s sophomore album “Dreaming of David” has demonstrated his exponential growth and versatility as an artist. Although his first album is more top 40 friendly, his second album is exactly what his overzealous fans wanted: a dreamlike pop album with sad boy vibes.