First Appeared at The Music Box, December 2001, Volume 8, #12
Written by John Metzger
Ryan Adams has come a long way since his days with Whiskeytown — a good thing, too, since he was fast earning a reputation for inconsistent performances and albums that never quite lived up to their promise. Yet, this upward trend actually took root in the demise of his former band as evidenced by Pneumonia, a full-scale production that was recorded three years ago and finally saw the light of day this past summer. Following close on its heels is Ryan's sophomore solo effort Gold, a title that aptly describes the disc's sparkling interior.
Gold finds Adams reinvigorated, once again exploring earthier tones in a singer/songwriter, roots-pop kind of way. Throughout the expansive, 70-minute set, Adams mines the jewels of rock's glorious past, evoking Van Morrison, Counting Crows, and The Band one minute (Answering Bell); Lou Reed and the Rolling Stones the next (Nobody Girl). Indeed, Ryan has become a virtual chameleon, shape-shifting his way through time. Goodnight, Hollywood Blvd. soars with all the beauty of an early Elton John ballad; Tina Toledo's Street Walkin' Blues rips a blues-rock riff worthy of the Rolling Stones; SYLVIA PLATH and Enemy Fire delve respectively into Neil Young's acoustic and electric phases; and Gonna Make You Love Me entangles The Who with Led Zeppelin.
While it's true that Adams has yet to craft a classic album, he's at least scattered all of the right notions across each of his last three discs. It's only a matter of time until he puts them all together. In the meantime, Gold is the crown jewel that should — if there is any justice in the world — take his career to the next level.
Gold is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2001 The Music Box