These days, Ryan Adams seems to be the alt.country singer critics and DJs love to hate. Are they looking to be the first one to tear down the idol? Have they just run out of things to say about the man?
Some simply complain that the man is getting to big for his britches. But the most common complaint I hear about the man and the sound of his new band, The Cardinals, is that he’s too “derivitive”. “He’s borrowing from the Grateful Dead,” some say. Others say “he’s just following in Neil Young’s tracks.” One DJ recently told me, “He’s got his Gram Parson’s knob turned up to 11.” Whatever.
Yeah, maybe the man has gotten fulll of himself. I have no idea. I’ve never met him personally. And really that only maters to people like music critics who might get a chance to share a beer with him. As for being too derivitive goes, so what? Lots of artists have made darn good careers entertaining people without breaking and new ground for their art.
The question is, “did ya like listening to the CD?” The answer, at least for me is, a resounding “Yep.” Continuing the style from Cold Roses, we get a soulful, often falsetto vocal style delivering lyrics in Ryan’s almost-free-verse-not-quite-rhyming style. Musical arrangements come across with a solid, alt.country twang layered on top with plesantly clangy guitar riffs and the ocassional instrumentals that do indeed harken back to the days of Neil Young, The Grateful Dead, and Gram Parsons. But for me, this is a good thing, not something to be dissed.
Hard Way To Fall
The Hardest Part
A Kiss Before I go