Opening with the first single Gimme Something Good, this self-titled album is the 14th by Ryan Adams, and it’s already shaping up to be my favourite Ryan Adams album since 2004’s Love Is Hell.
The album has a late 70s Bruce Springsteen/ Tom Petty feel to it. I think it’s safe to say that this is a classic rock influenced album.
Heartbreaker Benmont Tench provides the organ and piano so no surprise that there are nods to the classic Tom Petty Damn the Torpedoes sound
The sparse instrumentation on the intro to Kim is a joy to hear – just guitar, vocals and a distant keyboard before the full band kicks in.
“I watched you walk away, to be with him, Kim”
The production also harks to a bygone era – instruments panned sharply left or right, dry reverb-free drums. This album could have been released in 1979 and would not have sounded out of time.
Am I Safe is an acoustic driven but lyrically edgy track with some wonderful Johnny Marr’esque riffing. And maybe a hint of Fleetwood Mac in the backing vocals. A definite highlight of the album.
“All these things keep runnin’ through my mind”
My Wrecking Ball is a Springsteen like title, and a Springsteen like lyric (it’s all about cars and girls, right?). A stripped back arrangement highlights Ryan’s wonderfully gritty vocals.
Stay With Me ups the tempo and has a powerful, top drawer chorus (the guitar riff underpinning the build up sends shivers).
Feels Like Fire is a great driving song – perfectly build for the long drives on the freeway! I Just Might grows from a chugging guitar and vocals intro as the band creeps in. I love the way the lyrics mirror the playing – as Ryan sings that he doesn’t want to lose control, the mood shifts up a gear.
Tired of Giving Up feels strangely uplifting, even with it’s downbeat lyrics. Album closer Let Go is short, sharp and to the point, not overstaying it’s welcome. Just as it hits you, the song is over.
This is probably the most focussed Ryan Adams album for a long time, and all the better for it.
Buy Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams on Amazon UK
Buy Ryan Adams – Love is Hell on Amazon UK
You might also like this deluxe edition of the classic Damn the Torpedoes album from Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers