enters the Billboard chart this week at #4
Spotify online listen
4.0 of 5.0 from allmusic
first album I've heard
from the bio sounds like Ryan is all over the map
I get Chris Isaak, Tom Petty, the Boss vibes on this one
I guess rock is not dead
nothing stood out for me here
Bio - from allmusic
Mixing the heartfelt angst of a singer/songwriter with the cocky brashness of a garage rocker, Ryan Adams is at once one of the few artists to
emerge from the alt-country scene to achieve mainstream commercial success and the one who most strongly refused to be defined by the genre,
leaping from one spot to another stylistically while following his increasingly prolific muse. Adams was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina in
1974. While country music was a major part of his family's musical diet when he was young (he's cited Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Merle Haggard,
and Johnny Cash as particular favorites), in his early teens Adams developed a taste for punk rock and began playing electric guitar.
At 15, Adams started writing songs, and a year later he formed a band called the Patty Duke Syndrome; Adams once described PDS as "an arty noise
punk band," with Hüsker Dü frequently cited as a key influence and reference point. The Patty Duke Syndrome developed a following in
Jacksonville, and when Adams was 19 the band relocated to the larger town of Raleigh, North Carolina in hopes of expanding its following.
However, Adams became eager to do something more melodic that would give him a platform for his country and pop influences. In 1994, Adams left
the Patty Duke Syndrome and formed Whiskeytown with guitarist Phil Wandscher and violinist Caitlin Cary. With bassist Steve Grothman and drummer
Eric "Skillet" Gilmore completing the lineup, Whiskeytown (the name came from regional slang for getting drunk) released their first album,
Faithless Street, on the local Mood Food label.
The album won reams of critical praise in the music press, and more than one writer suggested that Whiskeytown could do for the alt-country or
No Depression scene what Nirvana had done for grunge. But by the time Whiskeytown had signed to a major label -- the Geffen-distributed imprint
Outpost Records -- the band had undergone the first in a series of major personal shakeups, and in the summer of 1997, when Whiskeytown's
Outpost debut, Stranger's Almanac, was ready for release, Adams and Wandscher were the only official members of the group left. Cary soon
returned, but Wandscher left shortly afterward, and Whiskeytown had a revolving-door lineup for much of the next two years, with the band's live
shows become increasingly erratic, as solid performances were often followed by noisy, audience-baiting disasters. Consequently, as strong as
Stranger's Almanac was, Whiskeytown never fulfilled the commercial expectations created for them by others. In 1999, the band -- which was down
to Adams, Cary, and a handful of session musicians -- recorded its third and final album, Pneumonia, but when Geffen was absorbed in a merger
between PolyGram and Universal, Outpost was phased out, and the album was shelved; shortly afterward, Whiskeytown quietly called it quits.
Following Whiskeytown's collapse, Adams wasted no time launching a career apart from the band, and after a few solo acoustic tours, Adams went
into a Nashville studio with songwriters Gillian Welch and David Rawlings and cut his first album under his own name, Heartbreaker, which was
released by pioneering "insurgent country" label Bloodshot Records in 2000. The album received critical raves, respectable sales, and a high-
profile endorsement from Elton John, and Adams was signed by Universal's new Americana imprint, Lost Highway Records. Lost Highway gave
Whiskeytown's Pneumonia a belated release in early 2001, and later that same year the label released his second solo set, Gold, which displayed
less of a country influence in favor of classic pop and rock styles of the 1970s. In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, the album's
opening track, "New York, New York," was embraced by radio as an anthem of resilience (though it actually concerned a busted romance), and Adams
once again found himself touted as "the next big thing."
Always a prolific songwriter, in a bit more than a year following Gold's release Adams had written and recorded enough material for four albums.
He opted to whittle the 60 tunes down to a 13-song collection called Demolition, which was released in 2002 as he went into the studio to record
his official follow-up to Gold. A year later, Adams' concept album Rock N Roll was released alongside the double-EP collection Love Is Hell.
Tours around the globe kept Adams busy into the next year as he maintained momentum writing songs and keeping his ever-changing presence in the
music press. In May 2005, Adams released his first of three albums for Lost Highway, the melancholic double-disc Cold Roses. Jacksonville City
Nights, a more classic-sounding honky tonk effort, followed in September, and 29 appeared in late December. Always prolific, in the interim
period before his next album was released Adams posted a large selection of tracks -- including several hip-hop tunes -- on his website, but
fans were greeted with more straightforward material on 2007's Easy Tiger and 2008's Cardinology with the Cardinals.
Adams decided to disband the Cardinals in 2009, precipitating an unusual period of quiet from the prolific singer/songwriter. He slowly returned
to active duty in 2010, releasing the heavy metal Orion on vinyl only in the summer and then issuing III/IV -- a double album recorded with the
Cardinals during the Easy Tiger sessions -- in November. For his 13th solo album, 2011's Ashes and Fire, the singer/songwriter recruited Norah
Jones and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' keyboard player Benmont Tench, as well as legendary producer Glyn Johns, who had helmed the Who classic
Following Ashes and Fire, Adams' musical career was temporarily put on hold while he suffered with an inner-ear disorder, which resulted in a
collection of canceled shows. However, after hypnotherapy treatment, Adams began writing music again, and he holed himself up in his L.A. Pax-Am
studios with bassist Tal Wilkenfeld, drummer Jeremy Stacey, and guitarist/producer Mike Viola to work on new material. The resulting self-titled
album was due for release in 2014.
Album Review - from allmusic
Even the most prolific artists need a break and so it was with Ryan Adams. After a great burst of creativity that resulted in four albums' worth
of material in two years -- Orion plus the double-LP III/IV in 2010, followed by Ashes & Fire in 2011 –- Adams took a three-year hiatus,
dabbling in side projects and productions, breaking up his longtime backing band the Cardinals, and eventually re-emerging in 2014 with a self-
titled album. The old canard says an eponymous album released well into a career suggests a rebirth, and that's somewhat true of Ryan Adams,
which largely ditches the Dead obsessions, ragged country-rock, and occasional noise squall for precision-tuned audio straight out of 1981. He
still finds space for the spare "My Wrecking Ball," an intimate piece of acoustica that recalls the spartan Heartbreaker, but not unlike Jenny
Lewis' The Voyager, which Adams also produced, craft is the order of the day here, from the expertly carved bones of the songs to the fathomless
shimmer of the album's surface. Unlike Love Is Hell, which wallowed in murk, or the self-styled dazzle of Gold, Ryan Adams is designed for
comfort, placing as much import on the rolling aural waves as what lays within a song. This suppleness is quite alluring: Ryan Adams is a record
that can slip into the background, providing the soundtrack to anything from heartbreak to a lazy Sunday morning. If Ryan Adams was merely sonic
candy, it would've been enough, but this is also one of Adams' cannily constructed records, one that runs deliberately lean. Whenever the soft
shimmer of his Yacht Rock resurrection yields, it's to draw attention to his vulnerability: "My Wrecking Ball" and the Springsteen rockabilly
homage "I Just Might," the bittersweet twilight coda "Let Go," all seem stronger because they're departures from the purposeful polish. These
songs puncture the gloss, so they make the greatest first impression, but that glimmer remains the reason to get lost within Ryan Adams: his
blend of song and studio craft turns this eponymous album into the equivalent of a substantive, new millennial version of the Eagles' Long Run.
the only track that had a video:
1. Gimme Something Good
4. Am I Safe
5. My Wrecking Ball
6. Stay with Me
8. Feels Like Fire
9. I Just Might
10. Tired of Giving Up
11. Let Go