Volume 95, Issue 29

Wednesday, October 24, 2001
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This movie a hell of a ripping good time

Stochansky solo set a rarity

Weir in for a good time tonight

Disc of the week

Disc of the week

Ryan Adams


Lost Highway

Ryan (not to be mistaken for the lesser Bryan) Adams loves selling out. He said so himself in a written statement on his former label, Bloodshot Records', website.

The past two years have completely altered the career of the talented young musician, who split with his critically-acclaimed band Whiskeytown and hit the road alone.

Last fall, Adams released his underrated solo debut, Heartbreaker, and now he's returned with his major label debut, Gold.

Gold is Adams' finest effort yet. All sixteen cuts (plus an additional five song bonus disc) demonstrate the diversity of his songwriting and voice.

This record should bring him the notoriety and respect he deserves, because Adams isn't "selling out" at all. The songs on Gold remain, like his previous work, cigarette-stained, beer-buzzed and, at times, reckless.

His songwriting draws from a vast array of influences, ranging from the country sounds of Hank Williams and Gram Parsons heard in "Harder Now That It's Over," to the folk/rock of Bob Dylan in "Firecracker," mixed with an occasional hint of the bluesy garage rock of The Rolling Stones in "Enemy Fire."

The vocal diversity found on Gold is the first demonstration of such range from Adams. While his first album may have hinted at it, songs like the melancholic "Answering Bell" and the rollicking "Gonna Make You Love Me," showcase Adams' diverse vocal capabilities.

Unlike Heartbreaker, an album which was filled with more sombre, reflective material, Adams mixes things up on Gold. The opener "New York, New York" is uptempo by Adams' standards and includes melodic hooks that demand radio play.

Moreover, the rest of the album never bores – it is loaded with a diversity of musical flair coupled with stellar production by Ethan Johns.

Ryan Adams is not selling out. Gold will satisfy long-time fans and newcomers alike.

–Zach Peterson

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Copyright The Gazette 2001