Reviews Ryan Adams 29

Ryan Adams

29

Ryan Adams is about as prolific as a songwriter can be. 29 is the latest of the three albums he released in 2005, Cold Roses and Jacksonville City Nights being the other two. 29 is also his most varied of the three, containing elements of ballsy blues rock-n-roll as well as flamenco influences, which is kind of shocking to hear. Adams, being so prolific, falls into the trap of neglecting the editing process in his work at times. On this record, he seems to hit some high peaks but also some low valleys as well. Overall, 29 is an incredibly chill album that bears repeated listens to get a handle on the material, not because of its complexity but rather its laid back atmosphere makes it difficult to catch certain aspects on the first pass.

How do you make the title track of an album be the most raucous number that the record has? It throws the listener off and misrepresents the album. It works in this case. "29" was a bit unsettling to listen to as any other expected rockers do not materialize later. "Strawberry Wine" is by far the longest track on the record. However, it might be one of the prettiest sounding songs that Ryan Adams has written prior to 29 in his career. Regardless, it is one of the strongest parts of this album and is a great deal more indicative of the mood that permeates the record. "Blue Sky Bells" is another pretty song with its heavily orchestrated augmentation to the simple piano ballad that it really is. "Carolina Rain" is another bright spot as well. It has a more country feel than many of the other songs on the album. "The Sadness" is the flamenco (or Latin or Spanish…you get the idea) sounding song. It definitely is an odd fit with the rest of the songs presented here but is an interesting listen.

29 is not the best album that Ryan Adams has put out thus far. That title would be best reserved for Heartbreaker, Gold, or Love is Hell. Though it is not his worst either. 29 might have been better served had its best songs been combined with the best songs of the other two albums from 2005, but that is probably part of Adams' charm. Fans of his will undoubtedly want this record. Otherwise you would be better served by picking up one of the three albums mentioned previously for a more complete idea of what he is capable of musically.

6.9 / 10Bob
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6.9 / 10

6.9 / 10

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