Wednesday, July 18, 2007

So this Ryan Adams Guy...

I've blatantly ignored everything Ryan Adams has done. Not really because of his antics - I knew nothing about his history - but because I had written him off as alt-country and that was not a sound I was particularly interested in. Literally, the only song I had ever heard from him before Saturday was the Oasis cover, "Wonderwall."

I recently received a copy of Easy Tiger in the mail (thank you) and figured this was as good a time as any to give him a shot. What I heard completely surprised me, it's excellent. It's a bit uneven at times but the voice, the songs. Maybe it's within the same vein that I've come to appreciate earlier Wilco albums or I'm just getting a bit older and can appreciate other types of music. Probably a little of both but regardless, his music resonated with me. I got this immediate sense that I needed to hear something else.

Popmatters put it best in their Easy Tiger review: "Gold, the Ryan Adams Album For People Who Don’t Have Time For All This Other Shit." That's where I went next, and my response was the same: excellent. From there it becomes difficult and therein lies the challenge of Ryan Adams' career. Most of his releases are a mixed bag, some loved and some hated. I tried Heartbreaker and didn't have the same response everyone else did. It was far too mellow with only a few stand out tracks. So, I'm not sure where to head next, Cold Roses maybe. Either way, I'm up for the challenge. It's a relatively down time right now for new releases so diving into some of the Ryan Adams back catalog along with my recent introduction (thanks NF) to Frusciante's Shadows Collide With People (the similarities and challenges are obvious) has left me plenty to marinate on until Radiohead graces us with LP7.

It didn't hurt that he recently did a cover from one of my all-time favorite bands.

MP3: Ryan Adams - "Down in a Hole" (Alice in Chains)


gary penberthy said...

Try Rock and Roll, I hadn't heard it till I heard some songs live and concert and it's a good one too, it's more of what the title says, rock'n'roll.

mister zesterhouse said...

don't go to to rock n roll yet, say i. i wouldn't have recommended gold or heartbreaker either. straight to cold roses for sure. check these:

sweet illusions
let it ride
cherry lane (it was written in a language that was meant to fuck you up)
dance all night
meadowlake street (be patient here)
if i am a stranger
mockingbird sing

an almost perfect album.

there are jewels all over jacksonville city nights and some big efforts with the largely ignored '29'.

but love is hell may be the masterwork when all is said and done. no, cold roses is.

hope this helps; alice in chains rule; thanks for the download.

JK said...

mister z, thanks for the tips. I'm definitely headed in the Cold Roses direction.

Maloney said...

I've been a fan of his for awhile, since I heard him sing Sweet Carolina, got Heartbreaker, and loved it. However, my tastes seem to differ from most of his fans. I LOVE Jacksonville City Nights, think 29 is great, and really enjoy his Whiskeytown stuff. i don't even own Love Is Hell or Rock n Roll, it's just not the sound I prefer from him.

But then, I just really dig me some country, and that's not too cool these days...