'Pennsylvania singer/songwriter Ryan Asher recorded his new EP 'Conscious Universe' over the span of three months, running in and out of the studio from August to November while finishing up his last year of college. His finished product has quite an impressive sound--a blend of intricate guitar riffs laced with sugar-coated melodies. Pop the CD in your friend's car, they'll never guess it hasn't sold a million copies. For Asher, the album is his pass to play gigs. And it's definitely worked --this has been his busiest month ever, playing in packed coffee houses throughout the Northeast. Asher's style of mellow acoustic music pertains to both guys who like jazzy guitar riffs, and girls who enjoy emotionally-driven lyrics. The album opens with 'Lost in the Crowd,' arguably his best song. The first series of guitar chords immediately hook the listener. The chorus is catchy, and his guitar playing is dead-on great. It's a track that best represents him as both a writer and musician. Following is 'Universe,' a song about a long-distance relationship. Asher describes the song as 'the feeling you get when you're on the way to see someone you love, and you realize they're the center of your universe.' The music itself feels somber and melancholy, but Asher's voice adds a kind of optimism that speaks over the gloominess of the instrumental melody. Next is the more upbeat 'No Compromise.' He commences with a little distorted guitar and adds the African Djembe drum into the mix. The verse groove is downright jazzy and hip, and Asher sounds like he's having a blast behind the microphone. The final track is the 'Swan Song,' an appropriate follow-up. It's about saying goodbye to a rough relationship. Asher's trademark guitar licks are present, and so are his multi-layered chorus vocals. It ends the EP very well. There's no doubt that if Asher were backed by a full band, he could do some real, serious damage. 'I'm going to expand the EP,' he reveals. 'This is only just a taste of what's to come.' -The Muhlenberg Weekly ---- 'It's tough to say a lot about a four-song EP, especially when the material sounds as promising as it does on Ryan Asher's newest release, Conscious Universe. Each track--Lost in the Crowd, Universe, No Compromise, Swan Song--bubbles over with bittersweet love and sadness. This emotional balance is the crux on which Asher balances his acoustic sound and strong sense of melody. Teetering like a child's seesaw between golden melody and lyrical pop bliss, Asher makes true song-writing talent seem effortless. This balance is the key to Asher's quiet yet sharp delivery. Any one of the tracks on this stellar EP is worth your time, and I encourage a swift purchase as soon as you're finished reading.' ***** -Pulse Weekly Magazine.