28 November 2005

ryan adams - "night birds" (from the 29 lp, available for preorder here.)

in brief : on 29, ryan adams begins to mature as an artist.

another month, another ryan adams album, the title referring to the number of records he's released this year.

well, not quite. nor does it refer to his age, but it is filled w/ the kind of melancholy and dread that i'll doubtlessly feel at that age, which looms bold and stark for yours truly. what the album is, as opposed to the last two, is a ryan adams solo record, and that becomes apparent early on, and especially on "night birds."

from the opening piano chords, you'll know whether or not this is for you. me, i'm a sucker for this kind of thing : meditative, funereal, resolutely blue. i'm not sure that the song rises to the chords, but it's a triumph of mood--and when he wants, adams can still sing 'em pretty. actually, i think the best thing i can say about "night birds" is that my first reaction was "ryan adams record," and not u2, morrissey, springsteen, van morrison, moby grape, &c. i've been sitting here trying to come up w/ some comparisons; this is what i've come up w/ : late springfield / early solo neil young ; tim buckley's blue afternoon ; big star's third. "night birds," and the album as a whole, wouldn't sound out of place in a playlist comprising these records. BUT! neither does it sound wholly like them. so ryan adams is starting to assert himself as an individual singer / songwriter. or i'm just unable to come up w/ comparisons, my memory faltering w/ advancing age.

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