Ryan Adams – Gold

ARTIST: Ryan Adams                             220px-ryan_adams_gold

TITLE:  Gold



SINGLES: New York, New York (#112 US, #53 UK), Answering Bell (#39 UK)


LINEUP: Ryan Adams, Ethan Johns, Jennifer Condos, Richard Causon, Benmont Tench, Chris Stills and other session players who popped in and out

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Adams extends himself, and makes a case for rock-and-roll semi-stardom. He kinda succeeds.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It’s one of those things that the first two tracks of an album aren’t my favorites, but that’s the deal here. A sprawling album that focuses more on rock-and-roll with just a few hints of his alt-country persona, Ryan Adams’ Gold makes a definite play for the radio on several tracks and those somewhat fall short for the most part.

Yet, it’s the deeper cuts that make the impact. The long track “Nobody Girl” doesn’t wear out its welcome even after nine minutes, and the slow-burning rocker “Enemy Fire” crackles with emotion, as does the slow piano ballad “Sylvia Plath”.

It’s a long album, but sticking with the deep cuts gives you some reward.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Adams wanted this to be a classic double album, but his record company truncated the album and put the last five cuts as a special bonus disc. Adams was not impressed with that decision to say the least. Those last five cuts aren’t streaming, but they should be. Thanks a lot, Lost Highway.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: See above, and there’s even a version with two added tracks along with the five others.

GRADE: B+:  Adams’ deep cuts are more sincere and heartening than the ones he prepped for the radio.

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