User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 32
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 32
  3. Negative: 0 out of 32

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  1. Jul 14, 2013
    10
    From the soft, lovely tone of "When The Stars Go Blue" to the sheer rock-out-loud attitude spilling out of the tune "Tina Toledo's Street Walkin' Blues", this album presents itself as a showcase of some of the absolute best of what Ryan Adams has to offer from his ever-expanding musical collection. Even though I did not quite get the appeal of "Sylvia Plath", I am confident in saying thatFrom the soft, lovely tone of "When The Stars Go Blue" to the sheer rock-out-loud attitude spilling out of the tune "Tina Toledo's Street Walkin' Blues", this album presents itself as a showcase of some of the absolute best of what Ryan Adams has to offer from his ever-expanding musical collection. Even though I did not quite get the appeal of "Sylvia Plath", I am confident in saying that this album is a shining example of Mr. Adams' incredible capacity to write many songs that are above average; a quality that is much more rare than anyone really ever takes time to appreciate. That is why this is in my top five of studio albums ever produced. Expand
  2. Apr 25, 2012
    9
    Probably Ryan Adam's most commercially successful record and for me it's his best. It's a long record at 16 tracks but there is so much quality to be found. From the classic opener "New York, New York" to the soft closer "Goodnight Hollywood Blvd", its a superb record lyrically and musically. Highly recommended and a great place to start if your looking to get into this artist.
  3. Nov 16, 2011
    9
    After convincing my local CD dealer (yes, you, Play it Again Invercargill) it was not Bryan I was after, I took a punt on a friends recommendation and tried Gold. It was a little like getting into the Beatles at Sgt Peppers (which I did) - only to discover Heartbreaker (Revolver), and then try to keep up with his prolific outpourings. A real go to album. Go to it.
  4. Sep 17, 2011
    8
    Ryan Adam's Heartbreaker introduced the contemporary alternative-country music scene to the enigmatic, frustrating, and often-times wasted lead singer of Jacksonville, NC's Whiskeytown. After splitting with co-leader and songwriter, Caitlin Cary, Adams seemed too want to prove exactly how much he'd been held back by his band. Heartbreaker sounded like an album cut by a madman. Adams seemedRyan Adam's Heartbreaker introduced the contemporary alternative-country music scene to the enigmatic, frustrating, and often-times wasted lead singer of Jacksonville, NC's Whiskeytown. After splitting with co-leader and songwriter, Caitlin Cary, Adams seemed too want to prove exactly how much he'd been held back by his band. Heartbreaker sounded like an album cut by a madman. Adams seemed to throw haymaker after haymaker with huge whiskey soaked anthems like "To Be Young", the gorgeous and dismal "Come Pick Me Up", and perhaps the most underrated song of the year, "Oh My Sweet Carolina". The latter was a sweet, longing ballad sung with the inimitable Emmy Lou Harris.

    His follow up, 2001's "Gold" found Adams perhaps a little less riled than he'd been on Heartbreaker, but he retained an intense focus on rapidly producing fantastic pop music. The album opens with the timely "New York, New York" which springs forth with a strange ease for a native North Carolinian. In the dust of the World Trade Centers' collapse, the song became a solemn battle cry for those who saw the video on MTV and VH1. This proved important for him gaining the national spotlight. The next couple of songs seem to be open love letters to the Counting Crows. As if the rollicking country backing bands accented with banjos, reverb-laden telecasters, and Hammond B3 organ weren't obvious enough, Adam Duritz even makes an uncredited appearance with backup vocals on "Answering Bell". Critics may fault these songs for relying too heavily on their influences, but as strong an argument would be saying that rather than imitating Dylan, the Stones, or the Counting Crows, Adams was celebrating them in earnest, though not without flair. The fourth track is the hushed, melancholy "La Cienda Just Smiled". The same old tale of loving, then losing may have been sappy if the song had been produced differently. Instead, light, trebly, driving 32nd strums form the backbone of the track over which Adams sings simple, sorrowful, matter of fact lyrics as melodic acoustic guitar fills in the gaps. Further ambiance in the song is aroused by seamlessly mixed-in synth pads.

    The next significant track is the stunning "When The Stars Go Blue". To whom from behind tears is Adams pleading "Where do you go when you're lonely, where do you go when you're blue"? When his voice arches into an aching falsetto during the chorus, the sheer beauty of the moment nearly covers the sadness (but it doesn't quite). Julianna Raye's restrained vocal harmonies perfectly accent Adams' vulnerable call. The song is, simply, very, very good. Adams has created a good number of excellent songs, but this song may quietly be his best.

    Adams scores more points still with the rambling and **** "Gonna Make You Love Me More", immediately followed by the broken-voiced, "Harder Now That It's Over". The last gem of the album is the southern-gospel, R&B of "Touch, Feel, Loose". The song is significantly different from the rest of the album, but it's so good that you may catch yourself wondering why Adams doesn't just put out a whole album with similar work.

    Perhaps the only significant fault of the album is that it goes on a little long. While there are no bad songs, there are songs that simply don't contribute much to the overall aesthetic of the album. There probably should have been 10-12 songs on the album - there are 16. It's the length of the album that makes it unravel (though not much) toward the end. Did he not know when to quit? It's probably more likely that in the most prolific period of his career, he simply couldn't stop.
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  5. JohnJ
    Mar 31, 2007
    9
    Magnificent, an album to fall in (and out) of love by.
  6. Jeanie
    Jul 21, 2006
    10
    Heartbreaking good. Ryan Adams at his absolute best.
  7. LizK
    Dec 20, 2005
    9
    Have recently discovered Adams as an artist, and the more i listen the moe i am impressed by his song writing ability. This album reached into your heart and soul and rocks it! - brilliant.
  8. ZachL.
    May 25, 2005
    9
    It may not be as strong as "Heartbreaker" or some of his work with Whiskeytown, but to say this album is bad is just plain stupid. There's a reason why it made number 6 on the top ten list of ALOT of critics. (Check out the Best of 2001 to see what I mean.)
  9. anshumans
    Apr 5, 2004
    9
    this is a classic...it really is..good simple music can be so cool...i would have never thought.. a must but for everyone ..
  10. Olly
    Aug 6, 2003
    10
    Just bought this CD yesterday and after a few listens I have to say I love it. Somewhere between Bob Dylan, Springsteen and Counting Crows. I lay on the floor of my messy room listening to it as I drank beers off my guitar case.
  11. BryanW.
    Aug 23, 2002
    7
    ryan tries too hard to be neil young, bob dylan, mick jagger, et al. all at the same time. not that he cares what others think (which is good in a way) but this album just doesn't have the punch, the emotion, or the lyrics of anything he did on "heartbreaker" or just about everything he did with whiskeytown. that said, this is still a really good disc, it's just disappointing ryan tries too hard to be neil young, bob dylan, mick jagger, et al. all at the same time. not that he cares what others think (which is good in a way) but this album just doesn't have the punch, the emotion, or the lyrics of anything he did on "heartbreaker" or just about everything he did with whiskeytown. that said, this is still a really good disc, it's just disappointing given his track record. that's life, ryan. Expand
  12. JulianE.
    Aug 16, 2002
    9
    This is artificial but, try to think of this as one of those old double album seventies singer-songwriter masterpieces (with sides starting song 1, 6, 9 & 13) - this works a treat. Cut off that hippy fat and add a wink and ya got gold, pure gold!
  13. [Anonymous]
    Jul 25, 2002
    10
    truly magnificient, definitely the greates songwriter around at the moment.
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. "Gold" proves that Ryan Adams is capable of blending a myriad of styles and influences.
  2. The electric mood of Adams' sophomore disc definitely reflects his good fortunes and knack for solid songcraft.
  3. Gold comes off as clean, shiny, and over-the-top as Elliott Smith's XO, replete with strings, horns, and female backup singers. I double-checked the credits. Jon Brion wasn't listed.