First of all I must correct a post I did a couple of weeks ago. So alive is not Ryans Adams’ latest single, but in fact a track taken off his (poor) Rock n Roll album from 2003. If you follow this link I think you will agree that the communication by Lost Highway is pretty misleading here.
29 is the title of the third album released by Ryan Adams in 2005. Strangely enough it was actually recorded in August 2004…
What can you expect from someone who puts out three studio albums in one year, one of which being double? Even more so if the person doing so has in the past published very good (Gold) as well as very disappointing stuff (Rock n Roll, see above). Just like his live shows I’ve seen : Great and memorable in the Trabendo; boring almost unbearable in the Bataclan.
So consistency hasn’t been a strong point for Ryan Adams in the past. I quite liked the two albums he put out with the Cardinals in 2005, and I was wondering what the solo album woud be like. Even more so, as it is produced by Ethan Johns, who was also responsible for Gold.
29 is not a masterpiece but it is above average. Ryan Adams is not reinventing himself it’s more of his trademark melancholic country-folk-blues. It’s nice to listen to, but I wonder if I will take it off the shelf again, once I’ve put it away, as it tends to be more of the same, even if it’s not bad at all.
You end up imaging what kind of amazing albums Ryan Adams would make if he limited himself to one CD every two years. But at least he has found some consistency and will probably continue recording non-memorable, but quality albums for many years to come. A bit like Neil Young nowadays, I guess.