Ryan Adams : Revisted
Just recently I was skimming the music collection for something dusty that I have not heard in awhile. I came across Whiskeytowns 1996 album “Faithless Street”. It was the perfect choice. I rocked it in the car and the home stereo for a week or so before I moved on. Still in the mood for some alt-country I grabbed my copy of Whiskeytowns “Strangers Almanac” remaster. Did not rock “Strangers Almanac” as long as I did “Faithess street” but I was inspidered to continue with the theme. I decided to give two of Ryan Adams’s records with The Cardinals from 2005 a listen. The double album “Cold Roses” and its follow up “Jacksonville City Nights”.
Giving “Jacksonville City Nights” a first listen I was stunned. The album sounded real great. Much better than I remebered. The booze soaked instruments with heart broken lyics never sounded more geniuine and perfect to accompny Michigan’s beautiful fall. I was even able to look past the goofey line “The waittress tries to give me change and I say naw its cool just keep it” from the song “The End”. Getting over the goofy line allowed me to feel the power of the wailling chorus. That turned my opinion from alright, to real good rather quickly. “Dear John” is the next song to really strike me as great. A haunting tail of lonelyness and heart ache. Once again Ryan has a soulful howl that draws me in. The addition of Nora Jones to this track make it shine. Gives the song even more heart.Other standouts would include the rocker “The Hardest Part”, the somber ballad “Silver Bullets”, “Peaceful Valley”, “September” and “Trains”.
At this point I was really looking forward to “Cold Roses”. When the album came out in 2005 I remeber liking the first disc and never really getting into the second disc. Upon listening the aspects I liked before, I really liked now. The country-rock feel to the songs caught me off guard. I did not remeber it being so loud. Let me just mention that the case of disc one overshadowing disc two was still there. Disc two was listened to and passed on, for now. This review is based on disc one.The songs are loud and roudy. Kicking off with “Magnolia Mountain” the record doesn’t lose steam untill the last song “How Do You Keep Love Alive”. By that point you are ready for a breather.”Sweet Illusions” with its abondonment issues is a real solid song. “Meadowlake Street” builds slow, but ends up punching you in the stomac for the last minute of the song. “Beautiful Sorta” is loud and fast wich makes its placement in the middle of the disc perfect.”Now That You’re Gone” features Ryan’s haunting imagry that he is so good at. “Cherry Lane” is just a great twangy number that fits really well. Disc one, great. Disc two, meh, take it or leave it.
At this point I figured maybe I should give “29” a listen. Ryans opus on turning 29 years old. It was in fact also released in 2005 to give Ryan Adams a trilogy of albums in the 2005 calandar year. I had not forgot about how it was trashed by the press upon its release. I decided to pass. Maybe I will give it a listen once I turn “29” in a few weeks. Or maybe I will just skip it all together. Why push it and risk remebering why I disliked Ryan for so long after the “Gold” let down. For the time being, I am on good terms with Ryan Adams. Its been a long time since Ryan and I have been on such good terms. Listening to the second disc from “Cold Roses” while I type this I think its time to move on. Let me grab a Mark Kozelek E.P. real quick.