Saturday, November 8, 2008

He writes more songs by 9 AM

Ryan Adams' newest album came out last week & it's everything I assumed it would be plus a little INXS influence on a couple tunes that I didn't really expect. There's also plenty of the obligatory Dylan/Dead/Smiths stuff, not to mention the darker goth-country of Neko Case. His lyrics are every bit as weird as on albums like 29 where he occasionally for-gos basic rhyme and meter to create a sort of tableau of Modernist imagery & ideology. Themes of loss & alienation are found throughout the lyrics while the traditional country settings of Cold Roses & Jacksonville City Nights are often neglected as they wear their '80s influences on their sleeves more... like on Rock 'n Roll. Yet, they're still able to maintain the basic guitar/pedal steel/piano sound of those earlier discs. It's so good that most of the reviews I've found on-line are calling it his best effort yet. I don't know if I'd go that far, but it's been growing on me more & more so maybe I'll be agreeing by the time he's written another 40 or 50 songs (later this week). Speaking of his prolific career & his best albums, here's my ranking of RA CDs since he left Whiskeytown in 2000. Of course, if I were to post this tomorrow, it would probably change. Furthermore, this doesn't take into account the dozens of albums on which he's appeared as a guest, nor does it include his enormous live output.
11. Demolition
1o. Rock 'n Roll
9. 29
8. Love is Hell
7. Easy Tiger (w/ the Cardinals)
6. Songbird (w/ the Cardinals & Willie Nelson)
5. Cardinology (w/ the Cardinals)
4. Cold Roses (w/ the Cardinals)
3. Gold
2. Heartbreaker
1. Jacksonville City Nights (w/ the Cardinals)

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