Three years since his warm-and-fuzzy “honeymoon” record, Ashes & Fire, Ryan Adams' new, self-titled solo release is weathered, weary and rooted in reality. Adams departs from his alt-country singer/songwriter designation on most of this record, instead picking up reverb. “Gimme Something Good,” “Trouble” and “Stay With Me” are sonically reminiscent of the warm, echoing guitar harmonies of the Replacements and Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers. Lyrically, those three songs are insatiable, playing with themes of wanting more; from situations and relationships to desire and intimacy. “My Wrecking Ball” is a signature Ryan Adams tune, all hushed vocals, acoustic guitar and loaded with self-destructive metaphors; while “Tired Of Giving Up” croons with exhaustion from constant communication barriers between loved ones. This self-titled album is a reflection of Adams’ continued growth as a songwriter, and is completely relatable to anyone who has managed to survive in a marriage—creative or otherwise—long past the honeymoon phase.
Blue Note/Pax-Am http://www.paxamrecords.com