International version features one bonus track, a beautiful version of Elvis Presley's 'Always on My Mind' that features a string section conducted by Bergen White. Ryan & the Cardinals return again in 2005 with another st... more »udio album, 'Jacksonville City Nights'. 15 tracks in total including 'Kiss Before I Go', 'Hard Way To Fall' and 'Dear John'. Lost Highway. 2005.« less
International version features one bonus track, a beautiful version of Elvis Presley's 'Always on My Mind' that features a string section conducted by Bergen White. Ryan & the Cardinals return again in 2005 with another studio album, 'Jacksonville City Nights'. 15 tracks in total including 'Kiss Before I Go', 'Hard Way To Fall' and 'Dear John'. Lost Highway. 2005.
Ashley M. from SWAINSBORO, GA Reviewed on 4/23/2010...
Julie Y. from STORMVILLE, NY Reviewed on 5/30/2009...
Great album for those who love old time honky tonk country music. I wish he would make another pure country album. I love every track except for the Norah Jones duet. I play this CD so much it is getting worn out.
R. Sousa | Tewksbury, MA USA | 09/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Adams delivers a classic country masterpiece that makes that pop country nonsense that comes out of Nashville sound sillier than ever. The opening cut, "A Kiss Before I Go" immediately requires a few presses of the repeat button and off you go from there. Like a previous reviewer, I'm lukewarm on "Dear John" with Norah Jones because at first listen it doesn't seem to be totally fluid, but the more I hear it the more I think it would have fit better as the last cut on the CD. And with the exception of "Peacful Valley" which is probably a B side compared to the rest of the album, every cut is distinct and first rate. Again Ryan channels some of country's past greats while creating a path all his own. If you don't like country, then maybe this isn't for you, but if you like it at all, this is as good as country gets!"
Adams Delivers Another Quality Record
Rudy Palma | NJ | 10/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With his latest release "Jacksonville City Nights," the speedy follow-up to last spring's outstanding double album "Cold Roses," ever-prolific singer/songwriter Ryan Adams, backed by the Cardinals, has gone all out and crafted his first full-fledged country album. However, listeners need not prepare themselves for a drunken stupor after journeying through its 14 tracks. Sure, this is pure country, but Adams is talented enough to bend the genre just enough to still outrightly adhere to its foundations yet still satisfy his primarily alt-country/southern rock fanbase.
The disc opens with the splendid "A Kiss Before I Go," a bittersweet glimpse through a man's eyes at his present surroundings, which happens to include plenty of booze, while the singer/songwriter takes a long, hard look at his hometown of Jacksonville, SC on "The End." Chock full of thoughtful pianos, twangy guitars and slow-burning violins, both tracks were tailor-made for jukeboxes in bars out west, thus beginning the album perfectly.
Although he sings haphazardly about feelings of anxiety and being unable to cope with its effects, the raucous "Trains" is a rhythmic delight and the most easily accessible song on the collection, while lead single "The Hardest Part," waxes on the coming of age in the face of true love amidst delightfully discordant production and is a particularly excellent addition to Adams' catalogue.
Elsewhere, the wrenching ordeal of "Silver Bullets" is appropriately followed by "Peaceful Valley" a sincere yet tongue-in-cheek appeal to God to "take me home to the peaceful valley." Most wrenching of all, however, is "September," the story of a young woman who smiles before committing suicide. "My Heart Is Broken," a bittersweetly performed ode to an ended romance, could easily echo the viewpoint of her boyfriend, regretfully mourning his contribution to her demise.
Other standouts include "Dear John," a profoundly sad collaboration with Norah Jones, the intense "Don't Fail Me Now" and "Hard Way to Fall," which reveals that Adams truly has a knack for writing sentimental tunes that don't leave sap on your fingers.
"How she flips from the back to the front/Reading magazines/Oh my God, I miss those things/And it's a hard way to fall/And this ain't the easy way down/And it's a hard thing to love anyone, anyhow."
Overall, "Jacksonville City Nights" is an excellent addition to Adams' catalogue that proves yet again his uncanny talent to spring from genre to genre in his career with great ease and still create an abundance of top-notch quality music that has the power to enlighten as well as entertain. His next record is penciled in for a December release."
Let him burn out hard and bright...
J. Allen | Nashville, TN USA | 01/30/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I used to be a critic of Adams for releasing so many cd's. Then he played my hometown of Knoxville... for 4 hours... til he got kicked off stage by the theater managers. It was then that I understood why he sang 'everybody wants to go forever, I just want to burn out hard and bright'. He doesn't care what some jaded music critic is scribbling up about him in a dusty loft apartment somewhere, this is his life. Yeah, this cd's not that great nor that accessible, but at least he put it out. It's a great listen. The lyrics contain some great imagery of heartache in the dirty south, much like Merle Haggard. It's twangy, rich country. The kind that makes you want to butter up some cornbread with a shot of whiskey. The big, open-room atmosphere of the recording makes this cd perfect for putting on loop and painting to. I just think we should all stop creating reasons to not like music. If you don't like a song, hit the Skip> button, don't rail on someone for 'releasing too many songs'. Yeah, absense makes the heart grow fonder, but should Ryan be like Tool and release a cd every 7 years? I'd be heartbroken."
....."I can't explain what I don't know"
J. Sweeney | manchester, mo | 10/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ryan Adams breaks my heart. His songs, especially his singing, touch me somewhere deep inside. I don't really know why. It's just like the lyrics in "A Kiss Before I Go," where he sings, "I can't explain what I don't know." Well, I can't explain what I don't know either. I am old enough to be his mother, I haven't hung out in bars for years, and excessive drinking is part of a very distant past. Yeah, I've had a broken heart, but not every time I paired up with someone. I'm not from the south either, so I don't really know that kind of life. Still, I feel like I know this world Ryan lives in. His lyrics make it painfully clear what it's like. This is the second cd he has put out with his band The Cardinals. Together they have crossed over to the other side. This is not alt-country, folks. This is pure country, the kind that Hank Williams and Johnny Cash made in the '50's. Brushed drums, pedal steel, upright bass, cello, piano, and violins weave in and out of the electric and acoustic guitars. The vocals are the primary focus on all the songs, especially on "Peaceful Valley," which he sings in a falsetto, straining to hit the high notes. There are a few recording flaws-there ALWAYS are a few in Mr. Adams' releases. Maybe that's why I like his cd's so much-he'd rather go with 95% of what he wanted the sound to be, than pro-tool the music until it strips all the life out of it. At any rate, I can't tell you my favorite song on this cd, because I pick a new one each time I listen to it. That, my friends, is the hallmark of a really great record. You are going to have to buy this if you want to hear it-Ryan Adams and The Cardinals are too country for rock radio, and not cookie-cutter enough for country radio. That's a shame, because this is the best country record in the last 5 years, maybe even the last ten years. Highly recommended!"
A new outlaw
B. Lane | New York, New York USA | 11/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Country Music Awards don't invite fellows like Ryan Adams to appear. His music is at once old-school hillbilly and sonic experiments. Delicate and abusive. Hard to easily catagorize in the Best Buy bins..
I recently had the priviledge of seeing Mr Ryan open for Willie Nelson at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. The two are more than labelmates, they are musical soul-mates in that "official" Nashville never embraced them....and niether gives two spits. They make their own way and make great music.
If you like your country poppy and contrived go get Big and Rich and steer far away from this gem"