Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams

Two words: Musical Genius Simply put, if you haven't listened to a Ryan Adams record, you don't know what you're missing. This guy is great at everything he does. Most of all, I love his haunting and often depressing--but absolutely brilliant--love songs.

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  • * Original Release Date: January 15, 2008 * Format - Music: MP3 * Compatible with MP3 Players (including with iPod®), iTunes, Windows Media Player

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  • Ah, Life, I'm Coming Over, Don't Even Know Her Name

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  • Wonderwall [Album Version], This Is It [Acoustic Version]

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  • Ever since the big, splashy Gold failed to make Ryan Adams an all-conquering superstar -- it bolstered his reputation as a rock critic darling, but never had the sales to match the press -- he's retreated to genre exercises, begin... Ever since the big, splashy Gold failed to make Ryan Adams an all-conquering superstar -- it bolstered his reputation as a rock critic darling, but never had the sales to match the press -- he's retreated to genre exercises, beginning with the sleek modern rock of 2003's Rock N Roll and its moody alt rock counterpart, Love Is Hell, carrying through to his Neil Young/Grateful Dead pastiche on his spring 2005 double-album Cold Roses, and now its autumn sequel, Jacksonville City Nights. Arriving a little over four months after Cold Roses as the second installment of a planned trilogy of 2005 releases, Jacksonville City Nights -- which at one point was going to be called the less-evocative but calendar-specific September -- is Adams' straight-up, straight-ahead country album, a lean 46-minute collection of 14 songs designed for late-night drinking. While the terrific cover art deliberately echoes classic '60s country LPs, the sound of the album isn't quite as honky tonk as that suggests, thanks to a handful of brooding numbers like "September" that are too introspective, lyric-centered, and light on melody to truly qualify as classicist country. These are the weakest moments here, but they're also the exception to the rule, since most of the songs represent a number of classic country archetypes, from the opening pair of barroom anthems, "A Kiss Before I Go" and "The End," to his "Dear John" duet with Norah Jones or the light hillbilly swagger of the galloping "Trains" and how "My Heart Is Broken" is sweetened by just enough swings to give it a candy coating but not enough to turn it into countrypolitan schmaltz. As good as these cuts sound, it's still hard not to shake the suspicion that Ryan Adams is primarily a pastiche artist, since it's not only easy to spot influences throughout the album, but because the atmosphere of the record makes more of an impression than the individual songs. That said, Jacksonville City Nights still ranks as one of Adams' stronger albums, not just because he's returning to his rootsy roots -- after all, this isn't alt country, this is pure country -- but because it maintains a consistent mood, is tightly edited and well sequenced, and thanks to the Cardinals, has the easy assurance of Cold Roses, which is preferable to the somewhat desperate feel of the records immediately following Heartbreaker. It may not all add up to a major statement, which is something Gold and Rock N Roll aspired to be, but it surely makes for a more likeable and ultimately more listenable album. [This edition contains one bonus track.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide « less… more »

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  • Everybody Knows, Follow the Lights, My Love for You Is Real, Blue Hotel, Down in a Hole, This Is It [Cardinals Version], If I Am a Stranger [Live Studio Recording], Dear John [Live Studio Recording]

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  • Political Scientist, This House Is Not for Sale

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  • Ever since the big, splashy Gold failed to make Ryan Adams an all-conquering superstar -- it bolstered his reputation as a rock critic darling, but never had the sales to match the press -- he's retreated to genre exercises, begin... Ever since the big, splashy Gold failed to make Ryan Adams an all-conquering superstar -- it bolstered his reputation as a rock critic darling, but never had the sales to match the press -- he's retreated to genre exercises, beginning with the sleek modern rock of 2003's Rock N Roll and its moody alt-rock counterpart, Love Is Hell, carrying through to his Neil Young/Grateful Dead pastiche on his spring 2005 double album, Cold Roses, and now its autumn sequel, Jacksonville City Nights. Arriving a little over four months after Cold Roses as the second installment of a planned trilogy of 2005 releases, Jacksonville City Nights -- which at one point was going to be called the less-evocative but calendar-specific September -- is Adams' straight-up, straight-ahead country album, a lean 46-minute collection of 14 songs designed for late-night drinking. While the terrific cover art deliberately echoes classic '60s country LPs, the sound of the album isn't quite as honky tonk as that suggests, thanks to a handful of brooding numbers like "September" that are too introspective, lyric-centered, and light on melody to truly qualify as classicist country. These are the weakest moments here, but they're also the exception to the rule, since most of the songs here represent a number of classic country archetypes, from the opening pair of barroom anthems, "A Kiss Before I Go" and "The End," to his "Dear John" duet with Norah Jones or the light hillbilly swagger of the galloping "Trains" and how "My Heart Is Broken" is sweetened by just enough swings to give it a candy coating but not enough to turn it into countrypolitan schmaltz. As good as these cuts sound, it's still hard not to shake the suspicion that Ryan Adams is primarily a pastiche artist, since it's not only easy to spot influences throughout the album, but because the atmosphere of the record makes more of an impression than the individual songs. That said, Jacksonville City Nights still ranks as one of Adams' stronger albums, not just because he's returning to his rootsy roots -- after all, this isn't alt-country, this is pure country -- but because it maintains a consistent mood, is tightly edited and well sequenced, and thanks to the Cardinals, has the easy assurance of Cold Roses, which is preferable to the somewhat desperate feel of the records immediately following Heartbreaker. It may not all add up to a major statement, which is something Gold and Rock N Roll aspired to be, but it surely makes for a more likeable and ultimately more listenable album. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide « less… more »

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  • The steady, streamlined Easy Tiger was a sure sign that Ryan Adams was attempting to straighten up and play the game, but its quickly released EP follow-up, Follow the Lights, takes this self-conscious sobriety to a whole differen... The steady, streamlined Easy Tiger was a sure sign that Ryan Adams was attempting to straighten up and play the game, but its quickly released EP follow-up, Follow the Lights, takes this self-conscious sobriety to a whole different level, as it finds Adams writing two songs for the ABC drama October Road, then rearranging three of his own songs to fit the same hazy, mellow vibe of his new tunes, adding the previously unreleased "Blue Hotel" and a cover of Alice in Chains' "Down in a Hole" to the mix. This isn't so much a sell-out as yet another one of Adams' savvy genre exercises -- the only difference is, here he's gunning for the Grey's Anatomy adult-alternative crossover market instead of crafting a tribute to the Smiths or Grateful Dead. Adams pulls it off, possibly because the abbreviated length of the EP is just enough time for him to dwell in one place without being bored, but also because the lazy, low-key vibe emphasizes the empathy between him and his excellent backing band the Cardinals, who add warmth and a ragged humanity to Adams' tunes. Indeed, the dullest moment here is "If I Am a Stranger," where the Cardinals recede to the background, but the rest of the record places the band on equal footing with Adams, giving this a gently ramshackle appeal not all that dissimilar to either the Dead or the Band. The Cardinals help sell the new songs and a less insistent, strident take on "This Is It," but where they really shine is on that wonderful reinvention of "Down in a Hole," turning AIC's dirge into heart-on-the-sleeve country-rock that is arguably Adams' best single recording in recent memory. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide « less… more »

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  • On more than one occasion, Ryan Adams has played solo acoustic gigs that consisted almost entirely of songs he wrote the afternoon of the show, and after his 2001 album, Gold, finally gave him an audience outside the small but rab... On more than one occasion, Ryan Adams has played solo acoustic gigs that consisted almost entirely of songs he wrote the afternoon of the show, and after his 2001 album, Gold, finally gave him an audience outside the small but rabidly enthusiastic alt-country scene, the very prolific Adams seemed to waste no time laying down as many songs as he possibly could. If one believes what one reads in New Musical Express, Adams cut about four albums' worth of material during sessions with various musicians and producers within the space of a year (not even counting the much talked about but to date unheard four-track recordings of blues versions of all the songs from the Strokes' debut disc, Is This It). Sensibly enough, Adams and his record company decided that releasing such a huge flood of material wasn't in the best interest of either artist or label, and instead Adams cherry-picked these sessions into a 13-track collection, Demolition. Appropriately enough, Demolition sounds less like "the third Ryan Adams album" than a collection of stray tunes -- some of which are very good, especially the lazy summer vibe of "Tennessee Sucks," the up-tempo acoustic twang of "Chin Up, Cheer Up," the winsome "Cry on Demand," and the heading-off-the-rails rocker "Starting to Hurt." But more than a few of the other songs on the album sound like rough drafts rather than completed works, and Demolition seems to lack a strong thematic or structural center. In short, Demolition sounds like a bunch of demos, which of course is just what it is, and while it preserves a few strong tunes and offers an insight into Adams' creative process, it also makes clear that even the rising wunderkind of Americana can benefit from a bit of judicious editing and polishing. ~ Mark Deming, All Music Guide « less… more »

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  • One would think that being Ryan Adams would be a pretty good deal at the time of this album's release; he had a major-label deal, critics were in love with him, he got to date Winona Ryder and Alanis Morissette, Elton John went ar... One would think that being Ryan Adams would be a pretty good deal at the time of this album's release; he had a major-label deal, critics were in love with him, he got to date Winona Ryder and Alanis Morissette, Elton John went around telling everyone he was a genius, and his record company gave him carte blanche to do whatever he wanted. But to listen to Gold, Adams' first solo album for his big-league sponsors at Lost Highway, one senses that there are about a dozen other musicians Adams would love to be, and nearly all of them were at their peak in the early to mid-'70s. Adams' final album with Whiskeytown, Pneumonia, made it clear that he was moving beyond the scruffy alt-country of his early work, and Gold documents his current fascination with '70s rock. Half the fun of the album is playing "Spot the Influence": "Answering Bell" is a dead ringer for Van Morrison (with fellow Morrison enthusiast Adam Duritz on backing vocals), "Tina Toledo's Street Walkin' Blues" is obviously modeled on the Rolling Stones, "Harder Now That It's Over" sounds like Harvest-period Neil Young, "New York, New York" resembles Stephen Stills in his livelier moments (Stephen's son, Chris Stills, plays on the album), and "Rescue Blues" and "La Cienega Just Smiled" suggest the influence of Adams' pal Elton John. Of course, everyone has their influences, and Adams seems determined to make the most of them on Gold; it's a far more ambitious album than his solo debut, Heartbreaker. The performances are polished, Ethan Johns' production is at once elegant and admirably restrained, Adams is in strong voice throughout, and several of the songs are superb, especially the swaggering but lovelorn "New York, New York," the spare and lovely "When the Stars Go Blue," and the moody closer, "Goodnight, Hollywood Blvd." But while Gold sounds like a major step forward for Adams in terms of technique, it lacks the heart and soul of Heartbreaker or Pneumonia; the album seems to reflect craft rather than passion, and while it's often splendid craft, the fire that made Whiskeytown's best work so special isn't evident much of the time. Gold sounds like an album that could win Ryan Adams a lot of new fans (especially with listeners whose record collections go back a ways), but longtime fans may be a bit put off by the album's richly crafted surfaces and emotionally hollow core. ~ Mark Deming, All Music Guide « less… more »

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  • Easy Tiger has a "slow it down there, pal" undertone to its title -- and who needs a word of caution other than Ryan Adams himself, who notoriously spread himself far and wide in the years following his 2000 breakthrough Heartbrea... Easy Tiger has a "slow it down there, pal" undertone to its title -- and who needs a word of caution other than Ryan Adams himself, who notoriously spread himself far and wide in the years following his 2000 breakthrough Heartbreaker. After celebrating his 30th birthday with a flurry of albums in one year, Adams decided to pull back, hunker down, and craft one solid album that deliberately plays to his strength. As such, Easy Tiger could easily be seen as the album that many of his fans have wanted to hear since Heartbreaker, a record that is tight and grounded in country-rock. Easy Tiger is focused, but so have been some of the other thematic albums Adams has delivered with such gusto -- when he tried to run with the Strokes on Rock N Roll, mimicked the Smiths and Jeff Buckley on Love Is Hell, even turned out a full-on country album in Jacksonville City Nights, complete with knowing retro cover art, he stayed true to his concept -- but the cumulative effect of the records was to make him seem scattered, even if the records could work on their own merits. With each album since the wannabe blockbuster of 2001's Gold, his restlessness has seemed not diverse but reckless, so even his good albums seemed to contribute to the mess. Easy Tiger intends to break this perception by being concise, right down to how every one but one of these tight 13 songs clock in somewhere between the two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half minute mark. For somebody as doggedly conceptual as Adams, this is surely a deliberate move, one designed to shore up support among supporters (no matter if they're fans or critics), which Easy Tiger very well might. Surely, it is a welcoming album in many ways, partially due to the relaxed Deadhead vibe Adams strikes up with his band the Cardinals, reminiscent of 2005's fine Cold Roses. But if that CD sprawled, this one is succinct, as Adams flits through country-rockers and weepers -- plus the occasional rock detour, like anthemic '80s arena rocker "Halloween Head" or the spacy "The Sun Also Sets," a dead ringer for Grant Lee Phillips -- containing not an ounce of fat. Adams benefits from the brevity, most notably on the sweetly melancholy "Everybody Knows," the straight-up country of "Tears of Gold," or on "Two," which mines new material out of the timeworn "two become one" conceit. Here, his songs don't stick around longer than necessary, so they linger longer in memory, but the relentless onward march of Easy Tiger also gives the performances an efficiency bordering on disinterest, which is its Achilles' heel. As fine as some of the songs are, as welcoming as the overall feel of the record is, it seems a bit like Adams is giving his fans (and label) "Ryan Adams by numbers," hitting all the marks but without passion. This is when his craft learned from incessant writing kicks in -- he can fashion these tunes into something sturdy and appealing -- but it also highlights how he can turn out a tune as lazily as he relies on casual profanity to his detriment. Ultimately, these flaws are minor, since Easy Tiger delivers what it promises: the most Ryan Adamsy Ryan Adams record since his first. For some fans, it's exactly what they've been waiting for, for others it'll be entirely too tidy, but don't worry -- if Adams has proven to be anything it's reliably messy, and he's sure to get ragged again somewhere down the road (and based on his past record, safe money is on October 2007). ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide « less… more »

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  • Last time we received a dispatch from Ryan Adams, the self-styled savior of rock & roll, it was in 2003, when he delivered his straight-up rock & roll record (aptly titled Rock N Roll) and his two-part mope-rock EP (later combined... Last time we received a dispatch from Ryan Adams, the self-styled savior of rock & roll, it was in 2003, when he delivered his straight-up rock & roll record (aptly titled Rock N Roll) and his two-part mope-rock EP (later combined as one LP) Love Is Hell. Admirable records both, but not quite the sequel to Heartbreaker that fans craved. They also weren't quite as successful as all the hype surrounding their release suggested that they would be, so Adams briefly retreated from the spotlight to regroup, heading back in 2005 with a planned triptych of new albums, the first of which is the double-album Cold Roses, recorded with his new backing band the Cardinals and released at the beginning of May. Three albums in one year is overkill even for an artist predisposed to releasing his every whim, and while it's too early at this writing to judge whether he needed to release all three of the records, it's safe to say that Cold Roses is the record many fans have been waiting to hear -- a full-fledged, unapologetic return to the country-rock that made his reputation when he led Whiskeytown. Not that the album is a retreat, or a crass attempt to give the people what they want, but it's an assured, comfortable collection of 18 songs that play to Adams' strengths because they capture him not trying quite so hard. He settles into a warm, burnished, countryish groove not far removed from vintage Harvest-era Neil Young at the beginning and keeps it going over the course of a double-disc set that isn't all that long. With the first disc clocking in at 39:39 and the second at 36:29, this could easily have been released as a single-disc set, but splitting it into two and packaging it as a mock-gatefold LP is classic Ryan Adams, highlighting both his flair for rock classicism and his tendency to come across slightly affected. As always, he's so obsessive about fitting into classic rock's long lineage that he can be slightly embarrassing -- particularly on the intro to "Beautiful Sorta," which apes David Johansen's intro to the New York Dolls' "Looking for a Kiss" in a way that guarantees a cringe -- which is also a problem when he drifts toward lazy, profanity-riddled lyrics ("this sh*t just f*cks you up" on "Cherry Lane") that undercut a generally strong set of writing. But what makes Cold Roses a success, his first genuine one since Heartbreaker, is that it is a genuine band album, with the Cardinals not only getting co-writing credits but helping Adams relax and let the music flow naturally. It's not the sound of somebody striving to save rock & roll, or even to be important, but that's precisely why this is the easiest Ryan Adams to enjoy. The coming months with their coming LPs will reveal whether this is indeed a shift in his point of view, or just a brief break from his trademark blustering braggadocio. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide « less… more »

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  • As Whiskeytown finally ground to a halt in the wake of an astonishing number of personal changes following Faithless Street (coupled with record company problems that kept their final album, Pneumonia, from reaching stores until t... As Whiskeytown finally ground to a halt in the wake of an astonishing number of personal changes following Faithless Street (coupled with record company problems that kept their final album, Pneumonia, from reaching stores until two years after it was recorded), Ryan Adams ducked into a Nashville studio for two weeks of sessions with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. While arch traditionalists Welch and Rawlings would hardly seem like a likely match for alt-country's bad boy, the collaboration brought out the best in Adams; Heartbreaker is loose, open, and heartfelt in a way Whiskeytown's admittedly fine albums never were, and makes as strong a case for Adams' gifts as anything his band ever released. With the exception of the Stones-flavored "Shakedown on 9th Street" and the swaggering "To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)," Heartbreaker leaves rock & roll on the shelf in favor of a sound that blends low-key folk-rock with a rootsy, bluegrass-accented undertow, and while the album's production and arrangements are subtle and spare, they make up in emotional impact whatever they lack in volume. As a songwriter, Adams concerns himself with the ups and downs of romance rather than the post-teenage angst that dominated Whiskeytown's work, and "My Winding Wheel" and "Damn, Sam (I Love a Woman That Rains)" are warmly optimistic in a way he's rarely been before, while "Come Pick Me Up" shows he's still eloquently in touch with heartbreak. Adams has always been a strong vocalist, but his duet with Emmylou Harris on "Oh My Sweet Carolina" may well be his finest hour as a singer, and the stripped-back sound of these sessions allows him to explore the nooks and crannies of his voice, and the results are pleasing. Whiskeytown fans who loved the "Replacements-go-twang" crunch of "Drank Like a River" and "Yesterday's News" might have a hard time warming up to Heartbreaker, but the strength of the material and the performances suggest Adams is finally gaining some much-needed maturity, and his music is all the better for it. ~ Mark Deming, All Music Guide « less… more »

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  • Recently, I've been going through a bit of an inadvertent Ryan Adam phase and it comes in the form of Whiskeytown -- the prerequisite to his solo career. I has always been a big fan of their 3rd and final album, Pneumonia, but has... Recently, I've been going through a bit of an inadvertent Ryan Adam phase and it comes in the form of Whiskeytown -- the prerequisite to his solo career. I has always been a big fan of their 3rd and final album, Pneumonia, but has never really put time into their 2nd. Recently though, i got the deluxe editionof Strangers Almanac and it's blowing my mind of alt country beauty.

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  • Another album that aided me for a long time in the library throughout college.

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  • With Ryan Adams"taking a break from music." He's been presented with lots of other channels to express himself creatively. He'll reveal his art to the world next month, but for now, we have his book of short stories to tidy us ove... With Ryan Adams"taking a break from music." He's been presented with lots of other channels to express himself creatively. He'll reveal his art to the world next month, but for now, we have his book of short stories to tidy us over.

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  • Albeit completely different from other Ryan Adams music -- much harder, obviously. I find myself like this album more and more over time. I think you will too. best song, bar-none, "Wish You Were Here"

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  • I'll be honest, this ones not exactly going to change your life. However, it's pretty much status quo Ryan Adams. Everything sounds good, it's just not as great as some of his other stuff. But the avid fans will thoroughly enjoy.

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  • When the Stars Go Blue was our wedding song.

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  • Before Ryan Adams, there was still, well, Ryan Adams. He was just fronting a band called Whiskeytown. They've continued to record and are still talking about making another album. But, of the four they've done so far, their latest... Before Ryan Adams, there was still, well, Ryan Adams. He was just fronting a band called Whiskeytown. They've continued to record and are still talking about making another album. But, of the four they've done so far, their latest, Pneumonia (2001), reigns supreme.

  • beautiful album, sweet sad love songs, definitly my fav ryan adams album

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  • Gram Parsons was such a huge influence on so many artists (Ryan Adams for one and my beloved Keef (they became fast friends)) If you are not familiar with this amazing artist who died too soon, you should be. Here is the descripti... Gram Parsons was such a huge influence on so many artists (Ryan Adams for one and my beloved Keef (they became fast friends)) If you are not familiar with this amazing artist who died too soon, you should be. Here is the description of this video from Amazon, it says it all: "This definitive biography chronicles a Southern Gothic saga and is a fascinating look at "the Grievous Angel" and the heartbreakingly beautiful music he created. Dispelling myths that have grown to surround Gram, Fallen Angel shows us the essence of his artistry; it is a truly revealing account of his life and ongoing influence. Fallen Angel features music from Gram Parsons’ groundbreaking career with The International Submarine Band, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, as well as his highly acclaimed solo albums. Featured interviews include Peter Buck, James Burton, Emmylou Harris, Chris Hillman, Phil Kaufman, Bernie Leadon, Avis Bartkus Parsons III, Gretchen Parsons Carpenter, Diane Parsons, Polly Parsons, Keith Richards, Dwight Yoakam, and more."