Cold Roses is the first of three Ryan Adams releases this year on Lost Highway Records. September to hit this summer and 29 to hit this fall. The new release, a double CD, features Ryan's new band The Cardinals and was p... more »roduced by Tom Schick. Ryan & The Cardinals recorded Cold Roses in two different sessions at Loho Studios. Ryan will be touring in the Spring, Summer and Fall. "Let It Ride" is the first single going to AAA in early April.« less
Cold Roses is the first of three Ryan Adams releases this year on Lost Highway Records. September to hit this summer and 29 to hit this fall. The new release, a double CD, features Ryan's new band The Cardinals and was produced by Tom Schick. Ryan & The Cardinals recorded Cold Roses in two different sessions at Loho Studios. Ryan will be touring in the Spring, Summer and Fall. "Let It Ride" is the first single going to AAA in early April.
Ashley M. from SWAINSBORO, GA Reviewed on 5/13/2010...
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
I am pleased....and pleasantly so.
C. Goodwin | 05/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First, to get something off my chest just because it's tarnishing my enjoyment of this CD:
Most Ryan Adams reviews can be divided into two camps: those who deride him as an egomaniacal poseur and those who herald him as a genius. We toss about "our generation's Dylan" for any twenty-something singer/songwriter (e.g. Conor Oberst), until they gain too much success; then we label them a sell out and complain that they mimic all the great bands we once compared them to. It's become as trendy to hate Ryan Adams as it is to like him. So, enough with ragging on him because he acts like a rock star and please, for the love of god, stop comparing him to Dylan. He's fantastic, but there will never be another Dylan and you only set yourself up for derision when you make that comparison.
Critiques of his music often center on one of three points: 1) he's "copying" off of other (presumably better) musicians; 2) there are many other more "innovative" artists out there (followed by a list of said artists); and 3) his lyrics are trite/full of cliches.
My response to those critics is:
1) since when did emulating the sound of other artists (particularly those that we like) become some sort of sin? I appreciate the fact that Ryan Adams' albums have a touch of the "Byrds and Tom Petty" (to quote another review for this album). According to these critics, music is supposed to be life-changing and, when it happens to influence another musician, they are supposed to forget the influence music has had on them. I don't get it.
2) "Innovation" is highly overrated (e.g. the Fiery Furnaces). I didn't anticipate the release of Cold Roses wondering what magic Adams was going to create using only a Fisher Price xylophone and a hubcap. And seriously, how much innovation can we really have? We're reaching a critical moment wherein everything's been said and every note has been matched up with every other note and the only way to be "innovative" will be to be nonsensical and out of tune (e.g. the Fiery Furnaces). (That being said, I do like Rilo Kiley and the Decemberists, although I would argue that there's a distinction to be made between "original" and "innovative", or at least in the way they are bandied about by music critics.)
3) I don't look to lyrics for some sort of life-affirmation or lesson. It's nice if it happens, but it's not something I demand of a CD. Occasionally, something happens in my life and I happen to listen to a particular song and the song clicks with me. Sometimes it just makes good driving music. If every song was filled with huge, heavy lyrics, all I would do is sit in my car and cry. As appealing as that sounds, I have things to do and places to go. And I will be listening to Cold Roses as I go about my merry way.
Sorry for the rant, but now on to the review:
After Rock N Roll (which I hated), I was concerned that he'd fallen over his own ego. Whether or not he's the monster people make him out to be, the new album is great. The Cardinals are a fantastic band, as spectacular on the album as they are live. I would agree with the reviewer who said the album's a mix of Pneumonia and Heartbreaker. If you liked either of those albums, you'll probably like this one. I haven't listened to it enough to say it's my favorite, but it is full of great tunes. If I was forced to put three songs on repeat for the rest of the day, I'd pick "When Will You Come Back Home", "Easy Plateau" and "Dance All Night." I've omitted "Let It Ride" only because I've already listened to it 1,000 times in the last few weeks.
Listen to it. If you like it, buy it. If not, buy something else. There's hardly any excuse these days to accidentally buy something that you think sucks."
Adams hits bullseye with newest album
face02 | Schaumburg, IL United States | 05/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a difficult review to write, because I still haven't been able to wrap up all my thoughts about this amazing effort. I will do my best to sum up exactly what makes this album the best work of his career. If Ryan Adams has been knocked for something most often on his albums, it is that he seems to keep changing his sound. Personally, I'm not sure how it can be negative to continually grow and not dwell in one particular niche - but I'm not paid to write reviews. On this album, Adams hits to all fields - and sends out more than enough to keep all his fans happy. There are those who want him to do an album more like Whiskeytown - for them he has written Sweet Illusions, When Will You Come Back Home, Dance All Night, Cherry Lane, and the first single Let It Ride. There are fans that want him to go back to the intimate acoustic sound of Heartbreaker - for them he has written Meadowlake Street, Now That You're Gone, How Do You Keep Love Alive, and Rosebud. There are fans that wanted something more like the almost British sounding Love Is Hell from last year - for them he has written Life Is Beautiful and Friends. Some fans want the vintage sound that Gold had to it - for them he has written Beautiful Sorta. Somehow, he has also found room to grow and put out great songs like Magnolia Mountain, Mockingbird, Easy Plateau, and Cold Roses - all of which sound like nothing Adams has done before. Somehow, all these different Adams sounds come together perfectly into something that should not be dismissed as a prolific artist putting out too much. It is absolutely jaw-dropping to hear so much quantity and quality at the same time. Being his first double-album, one might expect some filler material. There is simply none to be found here. While there may be a song or two that you may not care for (Blossom comes to mind for me), odds are you'll find several other fans that have that track pegged as their favorite. To me, that is the reason I would consider this Ryan Adams' strongest album to date."
Album of the year-2005
Greg Locke | Fort Wayne, IN USA | 12/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the closing months of 2003, one of music's most prominent young songwriters released two drastically different, highly accredited albums before falling off stage and breaking his wrist while playing a show. At the height of his fame, the continually prolific, (and self-proclaimed "firecracker") Adams withdrew from the public eye for much of 2004 in order to get healthy, both physically and mentally. At the end of a much needed year or so of peace, Adams' began touring with his new band, The Cardinals; playing moody, jam-oriented shows to sold out crowds hungry for new songs. Word began spreading in early 2005 that Adams had completed three new studio albums during his absence that would see release before the end of the year on Lost Highway records; the first of which was to be a criminally under-promoted double album entitled Cold Roses. Before becoming a bona fide rock star in 2003, Adams' split his time playing county songs in old bars, busting band-mates heads, and writing candidly emotional songs with the proficiency of a sixties Bob Dylan. Although he did focus on diversifying his sound as his career progressed, Adams continued to be a childish ball of fire up until his (nearly) career-ending injury. With Cold Roses, Adams' reemerges as a thoughtful, mature songwriter; and for the first time in his career, a critical underdog. Rather than writing a batch of songs and arranging them in the studio as per his usual methods, Adams and his touring band spent exhausting amounts of time perfecting their eighteen new compositions while on the road. The result is a timeless album saturated with subtle themes ranging from the vast American landscape, to death, loss, and of course, old time values and beliefs. Taking a less personal, more universal approach with his writing than usual, Adams and his band pay musical tribute to the distinct sounds of The Grateful Dead, Neil Young, ,and The Band while still maintaining their own brand of sun-drenched folk rock. Spanning nearly eighty minutes over two discs, nearly all of Cold Roses is indispensable. From the dark epic of the highly visual "Magnolia Mountain," to the catchy (yet uncommonly eloquent) Carolina-country swagger of "Let It Ride," Adams has found more modes than ever to utilize his natural propensity for old-time rock music. "Easy Plateau," "If I Am A Stranger," "Dance All Night," and at least half a dozen more are all high points in Adams' ever-swelling catalog, thus making Roses conceivably his most accomplished compilation of songs to date. With each new album he releases, you can always expect to also see a new manifestation of Ryan Adams: the ever-morphing rock n' roll eccentric. For allegiant fans who have long put up with him despite years of humiliating stunts and scandals, Roses is the ultimate pay-off. Seemingly matured and (finally) responsible for his tremendous talent, Adams has at long last released a complete masterpiece. An album with peaks as high as Cold Roses only hits a few times in any given decade. Ryan Adams is right where he needs to be artistically; commercially underrated, yet without doubt, a top notch songwriter at the top of his game. While Roses might lose a chunk of the younger audience his last few albums have established, it should do it's part in winning back original fans and finally convince a good number of his older, skeptical critics that he's the real deal. Give Cold Roses a few unbiased listens-it might help you remember why you love music so much. I recommend this album over anything I've come across since Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album."
You Can Be Twenty On Magnollia Mountain
J. Chasin | NYC, NY | 05/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After the Rock'n'Roll album, it may have seemed like Ryan Adams was going to be his generation's Paul Westerberg. He'd certainly made a record to lay claim to the title, and had a celebrity feud with Westerberg to boot. But as I listen to and absorb the exquisite Cold Roses, I think I finally have him sussed. I think he's going to be his generation's Neil Young. And frankly, a fella could do a lot worse.
I think when Ryan Adams is 60, people will look back at his catalog, and it will be meandering, inconsistent, spotty, unpredictable... and jaw droppingly spectacular. There will be unpopular work-- hell, there might even be an album as ill-conceived as Young's Everybody's Rockin' (or as I called it, Everybody's Whinin'). But there will be five, ten, more albums as transcendent as Déjà Vu, Everybody Knows This is Nowhere, On the Beach, Zuma, Harvest, Tonight's the Night, Ragged Glory. As far as I'm concerned he's got at least three already-- Heartbreaker, the incandescent and classic Gold, and now Cold Roses.
In 2003 I saw Neil Young with his band Crazy Horse, at the age of 58, play an entire concert comprised exclusively of his latest album, which at the time many in the crowd had never heard (indeed it wasn't even out yet.) People were ticked off; someone called out for "Cinnamon Girl," and Young deadpanned, "Sorry, we don't know that one." He did blast off about five chestnuts in his encore. And by the way, the concert was great; the following spring I saw him do it again, but the album was out, people knew the songs, and suddenly everyone loved him again.
I'm listening to a recording of Adams right now from May 12 of this year, and the fans are calling for songs they know. But Adams, stubbornly and with grace, is sticking to his guns, filling the set with new and unfamiliar material from Cold Roses. If you don't want the artist to challenge you, if you want it to be easy, then you probably don't want to follow Ryan Adams, because if you expect the last tour, you will be disappointed. But this is what makes him great, and lies at the core of what I think he has in common with Neil Young.
The first couple of times through Cold Roses, I heard it as a folksy riff on Gold-- less a reinvention of classic rock, more alt.country (whatever that is). But then I read that the new album-- recorded with his new band the Cardinals-- was his homage to American Beauty-era Grateful Dead; think "Uncle John's Band," but more morose. At first I didn't quite believe it... but then I remembered that the last time I saw him live he used the Dead's "Wharf Rat" as a show piece for his set, playing an extended and heartfelt version. And when you open the gatefold of the CD, there as plain as day is a shadow image of a bear handing a rose to a little girl. The only way this could be a more deliberate reference to Grateful Dead iconography would be if instead of a little girl it was a skull.
The album opens with "Magnolia Mountain," which Adams says is about an '80s porn star, but which rings and sobs and lilts and sighs like some great forgotten album track by Van Morrison, Neil Young, the Band, even the Mick Taylor-era Stones. Neil Young could have sung this one on Harvest. First you hear Adams softly count the song in; then a single plaintive acoustic guitar, as the song creeps over you. Cindy Cashdollar's pedal steel, and some combination of her and bassist Catherine Popper's backing vocals, lend color and texture, giving the song-- and indeed the whole album-- a warm organic feel. J.P. Bowersock's lead guitar work is tasteful and never flashy, not entirely unlike, say, James Burton.
The refrain to "Magnolia Mountain" goes like this:
"Lie to me Sing me a song Sing me a song until the morning comes If the morning comes Will you lie to me Hold me down till the morning comes And if the morning comes Will you lie to me Will you take me to your bed will you lay me down Till I'm heavy like the rocks on the riverbed..."
The trick isn't writing lyrics like that. The trick is pulling them off. And damn if Adams isn't just earnest enough to do it.
The songs keep coming, easy as a porch swing, lots of minor chords and strummed guitars. And Cold Roses is a double CD, even though at about 76 minutes it could have all fit on one disc. But instead of giving us a single, overlong song cycle, Adams gives us two beautifully crafted records that each stand alone, or work as a seamless whole. In the CD age, when most albums are too long by 15 minutes, it is a pleasure. And of course, the thing is priced as a single.
It would be easy to call this Adams's Harvest-- and to call Heartbreaker his Tonight's the Night, and Gold his Everybody Knows This is Nowhere-- but that isn't fair to him, any more than it was fair to blame Mantle because he wasn't DiMaggio. Where Adams most evokes Young is in the fact that I have absolutely no idea what his next record will sound like, but I do know I'll buy it the day it comes out. I can be pretty sure that it won't sound like this, though, and that the folks who are booing his shows now because they want to hear the old stuff will be equally vexed come autumn when he's on to the next gig and they want to hear Cold Roses. If you always want to hear the last record, you can't help but be disappointed with a creative soul like Adams.
It is possible that I am just so besotted with the guy that I cannot be objective, although it might help to know that I was less than keen on Rock'n'Roll when it first came out (but crazy for Love is Hell, which came out the same day, and which was the less publicized but far more essential release.) So hey. Don't take my word for it. Check out the sound clips.
My wife, who is oblivious to the music geek world in which I live but who nonetheless has an absolutely golden ear, loved Gold; she said of it in the car one breezy afternoon, "It has the sweet familiar ring of every album you loved as a kid." Precisely. So it augers well that she digs this one a whole lot."
Robust Southern Rock=More Enjoyable With Every Play
Rudy Palma | NJ | 06/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Whenever prolific singer/songwriter Ryan Adams releases a new collection of songs, his fans never know what to expect to have emanated from his schizophrenic personality. With his latest release, "Cold Roses," backed by his band The Cardinals, they will find 2 discs chock full of robust southern rock that get increasingly enjoyable with each successive play. Making like his contemporary Conor Oberst, who released both "I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning" and "Digital Ash In a Digital Urn" this past January, Adams has two further LP releases penciled in for release by this year's end.
The 18 track collection starts off with the laid-back piety of "Magnolia Mountain" and then coasts into the glorious "Sweet Illusions," which tastefully steals some chords from the Beatles' classic "And I Love Her" before taking flight in other directions. Other more raucous selections like "Dance All Night" and "Beautiful Sorta," are filled with addictive electric guitar licks and catchy choruses.
The light-hearted "Easy Plateau," which finds Adams looking for "some place to rest my head," features of the most humorous lyrics on the album:
"Sleepyhead, come on let's take a ride/To the easy plateau in the back of your mind/Up through the alley, take the door under the stairs/My head ain't feeling nothing but cats and rocking chairs."
Despite its serious lyrics, the frolicking" If I Am a Stranger" recalls John Mellencamp's at his most effervescent. In addition, straight-up folk of "Rosebuds" and the bittersweet title track feature up and coming musician Rachel Yamagata on both vocals and piano. The set's easy highlight, however, is "How Do You Keep Love Alive," with its urgent melody, sullen performance and pleading lyrics.
"What does it mean?/What does it mean to be so sad?/When someone you love/Someone you love is supposed to make you happy/What do you do/How do you keep love alive?"
All things considered, Ryan Adams has yet again put together a fine record that proves his consistently excellent knack for songcraft has not at all been diluted with time or heavy output. In a music industry where mindless pop clogs our charts, a musician such as himself is a breath of fresh air. That he will build momentum and popularity over time is inevitable. "