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Tour De Vaap

A compilation of music from 417

Daily Archives: October 11, 2011

Many people have told me to listen to Ryan Adams.  His first solo album, Heartbreaker, is supposed to be amazing, yet I never found the time to hear it.  Now, after hearing his new release Ashes & Fire I think I’m finally going to find the time to truly listen to Ryan Adams.

This album doesn’t really bring anything new to the table.  It’s a straight up folk-rock album, nothing fancy, no surprises.  But this isn’t a bad thing.  In fact, it’s what makes this album so beautiful.  From beginning to end Ashes & Fire sounds like it belongs in your parent’s record collection along with some James Taylor and other folk superstar hits of the late 60s.  I would’ve thought “Invisible Riverside” was a cover song if I didn’t know any better.  The album gets rid of all the bells and whistles of modern recording and strips itself down to an analog album with guitar and piano (and the occasional violin or cello) as the main instruments.

The album kicks off with “Dirty Rain,” a simple but powerful tune about longing for lost love filled with subtle electric keyboard and a chorus that just won’t leave your head.  Next comes the album’s namesake, “Ashes & Fire” a very bright song with a driving drum beat.  But Adam’s doesn’t skip out on the love ballads either.  Songs like “Come Home” and “Kindness” are much more mellow and feature some great female vocal harmonies.

Ashes & Fire is lyrically strong as well. “I am not rocks, I am not rain, I am just another shadow in the stream. That’s been washed away after all these years.  I am not rocks in the river, I am bursting in tears for it,” the chorus to “Rocks” create a declaration of obscurity.  A longing for solid ground but knowing that you can never have it.  And “Lucky Now,” perhaps my favorite song on this album creates a beautiful story of nostalgia for lost love.

From start to finish this album is amazing.  The songs fit smoothly together, the lyrics are wonderful, the instrumentation is subtle and purposeful.  If there’s one album you need to hear this fall it’s this one.  I cannot emphasis that enough.  Ashes & Fire came out today on PAX AM and Capitol Records.


Ryan Adams – Lucky Now:

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