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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First Thoughts of Ashes and Fire (after 1 listen)

If you haven't heard, NPR is streaming the new Ryan Adams album at:

The speakers on my computer aren't the greatest, but I listened once last night through the album and here are my initial thoughts:

- the first 2 lines of the album could not be more perfect for introducing the album and where he's been the last few years.

- there's not a dud on the whole record. you can tell Ryan wasnt lying when he said he worked on these songs harder than anything he's done before. He also mentioned throwing out 80% of his songs after hearing Laura Marling.

- maybe the best opener and closer of any Ryan album!

- it's gonna sound great on vinyl!

- I love "I Love You But I Don't Know What to Say"!

- I love the pedal steel, strings, background vocals, and really love all the production. Glyn Johns did an amazing job on this. Oh yeah Benmont Tench is amazing on this as well!

-Overall, I dont think Ryan could have come out with a better record than he did while being away for so long. I think it could mark the start of a new phase for Ryan musically.

- After 1 listen, i think this album will end up being somewhere in the middle for me among favorites behind "Heartbreaker", "Gold", "Love is Hell", "Cold Roses", and "Jacksonville City Nights".

- I cant help but feel like Im listening to a Jackson Browne album

My only beef after 1 listen

Where's the electric guitars? There are some subtle playing throughout, but i kept waiting for this album to pick up and give me an upbeat country rocker ("Let it Ride", "A Kiss Before I Go"), but it never did. Although I like all the songs, I just thought it needed maybe 1 or 2 of these. Or maybe just some other acoustic guitars (Ryan plays the Buck Owens guitar on every song here), mandolin, just some other instrumentation thats out of the ordinary and adds some more color to the pallette.

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