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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dear Impossible

“It sounds like a record..... I really tried hard on every instrument and I made the compositions and the lyrics as true and meaningful as I could. I am excited to share this with the Cardinals. It does sound kind of like the “Love is Hell” though, or something, like a more pop, more melodic style with open parts and just the songs. Unafraid big open chord choruses…everything I learned from Mould.” - Ryan Adams (Blog Posting, December, 2008)

1. Firefly
2. So Quiet, It's Loud (Video)
3. Goodbye Sunshine (Video)
4. Universe Size Arms
5. Dear Impossible (Video)
6. Please, Hold On (Video)
7. Souls Full of Holes (Video)
8. OK, I Surrender (Video)
9. Wild & Hopeless (Video)
10. Kaleidoscope Eyes (Video)
11. Your Name Here
12. Mirror-Gold
13. The Lights (I Was Loved) (Video)
14. Lost in Space

Engineered by Noah Goldstein
Recorded at Electric Lady Studios, New York City, NY

The track listing above was based off Ryan's most recent posting about the album, and is the most accurate. Another slightly different working track list was posted previous to this and was as follows:

1. The Luxury of Lies
2. Could We Be Happy?
3. Firefly
4. So Quiet, It's Loud
5. Goodbye Sunshine
6. Universe Size Arms
7. Dear Impossible
8. Mirror-Gold
9. Please, Hold On
10. Our Souls
11. OK I Surrender
12. T.V. Static
13. Wild & Hopeless
14. Lost in Space
15. Don't Back Down

The Background

Dear Impossible is an unreleased album, that is believed to comprise the final recording sessions of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. Only one month after the release of Cardinology, Ryan wrote several postings on his blog mentioning that he had finished a new batch of songs for the next album. In December of 2008, Ryan went into a studio with engineer - Noah Goldstein and recorded solo demos for all of these songs. According to an article in Billboard magazine, Ryan played the new songs for the Cardinals, and together they were planning to go back in the studio and re-record everything together. However the following month, Ryan announced that the group was breaking up and their upcoming shows in March would be their last time playing together. It's a bit unclear whether these songs were ever fleshed out with the full band, or if Dear Impossible remains a solo album.

In May of 2010, the project was said to have been scrapped. Ryan stated that he will never release the record, and that he simply "wasn't happy with the tunes" and that they "didn't translate to an album format".

Luckily before demoing these new songs at Electric Lady Studios, Ryan posted some rough home demo recordings of many of the tunes. The songs feature hints of Love is Hell, hip-hop influenced beats and samples, trippy piano loops, plenty of overdriven acoustic guitar, and "big open" catchy choruses (which Ryan said were influenced by Bob Mould). Of the 10 or so lo-fi recordings that he posted, the songs show a lot of promise, and it would have been very interesting to hear how these would sound with the Cardinals (most notably "Kaleidoscope Eyes", "The Lights", and "Goodbye Sunshine").

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