RYAN Adams looked set to be the next big thing upon the release of second solo album Gold in 2001, with key track New York, New York providing an apt soundtrack to the city’s determination following September 11.
He’s been far from lazy in the intervening 13 years, but a combination of below par LPs and erratic live shows have resulted in the American’s star slipping ever further.
Whether this self-titled effort will restore his reputation is a moot point, but it’s certainly an enjoyable, refreshingly simplistic rock record.
There are nods to heroes Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen, especially on the 1980s rocker Am I Safe? and slightly eerie I Just Might, both of which sound unlike anything being produced today. On the touching Wrecking Ball – Ryan on guitar and Petty organist Benmont Tench in an echo chamber – he sounds vulnerable, sad and heartbroken. It’s really rather magnificent.
Like this? Try these: Bruce Springsteen, Magic; Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Damn the Torpedoes
By Andrew Greenhalgh