Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Spin
    83
    There's an air of formal exercise here.... But if you can ride with the cliches, you won't fault the execution. [Jul 2005, p.102]
  2. It's safe to say that Cold Roses is the record many fans have been waiting to hear -- a full-fledged, unapologetic return to the country-rock that made his reputation when he led Whiskeytown.
  3. The boy wonder is back in the saddle.
  4. Despite the fact that a few of these nineteen tracks could easily have been cut, or that its mid-tempo pacing may drive it dangerously close to sounding monotonous, the evidence still points to that of a songwriter clawing back to his best.
  5. For a good long stretch, Cold Roses feels fantastic--as pretty and affecting as a slow sunset.
  6. Uncut
    80
    A return to form, if not a career-redefining masterpiece. [Jul 2005, p.107]
  7. Somehow, it all works remarkably well together. There are a number of songs that feel like guilty pleasures, and the Gram Parsons/Bob Dylan/Neil Young influences are worn on Adam’s sleeve, but lets face it: we’d all rather hear Ryan doing this than trying to bite ‘70s FM rock or Brit-pop shoegazer nonsense.
  8. Entertainment Weekly
    75
    Mostly it's a big messy bunch of starry-eyed, shambling good ideas in search of memorable hooks. [20 May 2005, p.76]
  9. Overstuffed and vaguely monotonous, the album could be easily whittled down to a single sequence of impressive songs; Instead, it's a meandering, occasionally moving series of mid-tempo laments, some more memorable than others.
  10. Although Cold Roses can get messy in the way of a quickly made album, it marks a notable improvement on Adams's most recent LP.
  11. The songs seem tossed off and carefully constructed at the exact same moment.
  12. It's a relaxed and ambitious collection that confirms Ryan Adams' reputation as a top-notch singer and songwriter who easily jumps styles and evokes comfortable sadness with every turn.
  13. The production is too breezy in places and at 19 songs, it is at least half a dozen too long. Not the classic Adams fans demand, but he’s moving his ducks into a row.
  14. For every two full blooms ("Cherry Lane," "Rosebud") there's a stem ("Mockingbird"), and a couple decent toss-offs ("Beautiful Sorta," "Dance All Night"), but such is Adams' double-album hubris.
  15. Even if it is twice as long as it needs to be (thus, a couple of dead spots), we're not arguing. We're just enjoying the music.
  16. This 18-track monster drives home one point more than any other: Ryan Adams needs a fucking editor.
  17. Cold Roses comes as a bit of relief, bereft of the posturing that so often attends Adams’ work.... That said, there’s also a sense of retreat that permeates the record, a willingness to offer the comforts of familiar tones instead of ambitiously taking chances.
  18. Mojo
    60
    An enjoyable, if surprisingly safe, collection of roots rock. [Jul 2005, p.102]
  19. Cold Roses’ first set is by-the-numbers, brokenhearted MOR fare, sometimes maudlin (“When Will You Come Back Home?”), infrequently dramatic (the piano-driven “How Do You Keep Love Alive”) and mostly forgettable. The second disc redeems Cold Roses from an even-less-enthusiastic recommendation.
  20. A frustratingly self indulgent and inconsistent double album that pitches itself somewhere between the classic country rock of 2001's 'Gold' and the lovelorn despair of 2004's 'Love Is Hell'.
  21. Without the first disc, the double disc Cold Roses wouldn't be half bad.
  22. It's as if Adams is doing an imitation himself, of what he thinks "Ryan Adams" should be, or what fans at large expect: the roots rocker, the alt-country troubadour, all that clichéd Gram Parsons successor rubbish.
  23. Q Magazine
    40
    Another marathon slog through the alt-country undergrowth. [Jun 2005, p.118]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 102 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 102
  2. Negative: 3 out of 102
  1. Oct 14, 2017
    9
    Having the balls to record and release a double album is one thing. Being able to pull it off and deliver a great double album is anotherHaving the balls to record and release a double album is one thing. Being able to pull it off and deliver a great double album is another thing entirely. By their nature, the double album is a self indulgence. They could always be shortened, always a couple of tracks that could arguably be trimmed. Even the very best double albums (which for me would include "The Beatles" and "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness") have more than one track we could have lived without. Modern attempts such as Arcade Fire's "Reflektor", while decent could have been trimmed by a third or more. "Cold Roses" is one of the great double album efforts. At 18 tracks, it never outstays its welcome. It never gets weird or indulgent it simply keeps delivering great Americana style country rock. Ryan Adam's has produced more album's than most and has more often than not been guilty of self indulgence and an inability to cut material . Ironically, it's when he attempts a double album that he's at his most ruthless in terms of quality of content. This is a fabulous record, possibly the best of his career. Full Review »
  2. Jun 18, 2012
    10
    Brilliant work by Mr. Adams. Regardless of whether he is vain or not, his restless soul shows throughout this record. A genre/career definingBrilliant work by Mr. Adams. Regardless of whether he is vain or not, his restless soul shows throughout this record. A genre/career defining album that is an absolute catharsis. Full Review »
  3. Aug 6, 2011
    8
    I think Ryan Adams has a problem with putting out a solid album. Heartbreaker was pretty damn close, but as a whole, they seem to suffer some.I think Ryan Adams has a problem with putting out a solid album. Heartbreaker was pretty damn close, but as a whole, they seem to suffer some. There are some great songs on here, but it still doesn't feel 100%. That doesn't mean it's bad, just "off". Hell, I'll give it an 8 because of "Let It Ride" alone. Full Review »