Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger

Ryan AdamsRyan Adams hasn’t had the easiest time the last couple of years. By his own admission he spent 2005 out of his mind on drink and drugs, but despite this he still managed to release three albums (!) in the same year. Now after a year off, he’s cleaned up and made a much more focussed album than his previous efforts.Easy Tiger is much more entrenched in the Americana of Adam’s first solo album, Gold. A return to the well it might be, but it seems that this is where he’s comfortable. It’s lyrically less bleak than Love Is Hell, but still carries a sense of world-weariness. It’s quite a quick album too, squeezing 13 songs into less than 40 minutes.

There’s less production on the tracks too; something like “These Girls” is short and too the point, just carrying on with acoustic guitar and some handclaps. Easy Tiger often veers close to being radio-friendly, soft rock but avoids this by some wry lyricism. The Sun Also Sets claims “We’re only just a moment from death,” but most of the album is much more rock orientated, with the Springsteen-esque “Halloweenhead” and “Goodnight Rose”.

Ryan Adams seems like he’s going to be one of those artists that will produce a shitload of albums of varying quality, but hidden in them will be some real gems. Case in point is “I Taught Myself How To Grow Old”, a haunting but uplifting track that is the last on the album. Piano, acoustic guitar, harmonica and strings just meld together and create this delightful track that I just wished would go on. And hey, considering you can go online and download entire albums that were never commercially released (The Suicide Handbook, 48 Hours, Pinkhearts and more are online if you know where to look for them), then there’s no reason to make your own “Best Of” mix album.

Ryan Adams – Halloweenhead:

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