Monday, August 20, 2007

Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger

Ryan Adams, "Goodnight Rose" (YSI link)

Ryan Adams, "These Girls" (YSI link)

I like Ryan Adams. I consider his album Heartbreaker a favorite, he's put out some songs that I consider mini-masterpieces like "Dear Chicago," "To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High)" and "Damn, Sam (I Love A Woman That Rains)." I'm a sucker for anyone sings about getting drunk and loving women and being heartbroken, as y'all know. He recently released a new album, his first since the insanely prodigous year 2005, when he dropped three different LPs.

Easy Tiger is the new one and it just doesn't do it for me. I've given it quite a few listens and there's nothing that I necessarily hate or dislike; it just has little that makes me wanna come back for more, that makes me love it. It continues to see Adams and his back-up band The Cardinals explore the country-folk roots of rock music, giving this album a more laidback feel than his earlier stuff. Why doesn't the album work for me? Honestly, the songs. They just don't catch me, they don't demand that I listen again. To be fair, I'm not a rock or indie guy, so it probably takes something extra special for me to get it. But, Adams just seems off his game on this one (or maybe this is his new game?), his lyrics are average, at times the music sounds so weak and throwaway (esp on "Two Hearts"), it doesn't have that heartandsadness-on-the-sleeve quality that I like. It's not that I'm questioning authenticity or something, it just doesn't have that same quality of openness

Obviously, this one is not getting a recommendation. If you are a longtime Ryan Adams fan, more than likely you already have this one. For newbies, it might not be a bad pickup, since he does cover all of the sounds from his previous album on these thirteen tracks. But, I'd say go back into his catalogue and find the sources instead. Buy a copy of Easy Tiger here, or at least click over to read the ridiculous liner notes provided by Stephen King.

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