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Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

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  • Summary: The 14th solo studio release for the rock singer-songwriter was self-produced.
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  • Record Label: Blue Note
  • Genre(s): Alt-Country, Pop/Rock, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter
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Top Track

Gimme Something Good
I can't talk My mind is so blank So going for a walk I've got nothing left to say I can't see The darkness on the rise I'll be waiting here Until... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Sep 10, 2014
    100
    Every tune serves the moment, like a series of self-contained filmic miniatures whose character sketches, though brief, are utterly memorable, with those sketches’ accompanying sonics just as resonant.
  2. Sep 11, 2014
    85
    This is a record created entirely on his own terms, and in doing so he has also produced one of the finest records of his remarkable career.
  3. Q Magazine
    Sep 3, 2014
    80
    Adams is such a contrary character you daren't use the phrase "career comeback," but that's what this is. [Oct 2014, p.101]
  4. Nov 7, 2014
    80
    Ryan Adams, is up there with his best work because while it doesn’t have a lot of sweat on it, it’s a record that feels clearly considered enough, and carefully produced to maximize Adams’s strengths.
  5. Sep 8, 2014
    70
    The real joy of Adams’ back catalogue is that both his vocal mannerisms and skill as a guitarist have allowed him to take a versatile approach to his songwriting; both are evident on Ryan Adams, but the one aspect that does suffer is his lyricism.
  6. Oct 21, 2014
    70
    A dark and perilous experience, one just hopes there’s light at the end of Adams’ tunnel.
  7. Sep 8, 2014
    40
    He may have matured in the last 14 years, but there's no indication that's been good for his music, which on Ryan Adams feels lazier and more watered down than ever before.

See all 35 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 2 out of 9
  1. Sep 26, 2014
    10
    It is not often that you find an album where all the songs are awesome, unless you are listening to a greatest hits album. Ryan has done anIt is not often that you find an album where all the songs are awesome, unless you are listening to a greatest hits album. Ryan has done an amazing job and created an album where all the songs are truly amazing. Ryan best get ready for some awards Expand
  2. Sep 9, 2014
    10
    Ryan Adams' self titled/produced album is one of his best records since the 3 album year of 2005. Adams hasn't sounded this confident andRyan Adams' self titled/produced album is one of his best records since the 3 album year of 2005. Adams hasn't sounded this confident and natural since Cold Roses. "Ryan Adams" features a few rockers but the album is anchored by "My Wrecking Ball." The song about Adams' late grand mother is an emotional knockout.

    Every Ryan Adams record features songs that his fans will love, but this album is fantastic from start to finish.
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  3. FIF
    Sep 19, 2014
    10
    They say this is the 14th release, maybe officially, but there are lots more. Out of all the official albums, which its really hard toThey say this is the 14th release, maybe officially, but there are lots more. Out of all the official albums, which its really hard to compare, because they are all so different, this is right up there with Heartbreaker and Gold!! In fact those three probably best represent the folk, classic rock and alternative sides to the man's incendiary career! Expand
  4. Oct 16, 2014
    9
    Upon first listen the record sounds like RA by numbers with a couple of standout soulful rock tunes. However, this album is a subtly craftedUpon first listen the record sounds like RA by numbers with a couple of standout soulful rock tunes. However, this album is a subtly crafted masterpiece, revealing it's charms upon repeated listens. The arrangements are complex and thrilling. The guitar sound is pure ear candy, reminiscent of Big Star, REM, the Smiths, Petty, Springsteen, the Mac . If you like guitar, buy this record. Adams on analog tape is good enough, but add support from Stacey, Was, Tench ( who steals a couple of acenes) and all the crisp guitar arrangements and you have what sounds like a late seventies early eighties FM classic. I don't know if it was not Was playing the bass on "Tired...," but whoever it was was channeling John McVie, hard. The album could have been titled "FM" because it reminds me of the late seventies/ early eighties radio I heard as a kid, before they started ruining drum sounds with digital reverb. Stacey sounds awesome on tape, solid as a bunker. I only wish i could hear the record in the control room from the masters, simply to be more impressed. I saw some review that said the sound was "muddy." Clean the **** from thine ears, please! This record is the opposite of muddy. Fire that dude!

    The confessional style lyrics are direct and often evocative and poetic; and the sense and themes of loss, loss of words, fear of loss, are well suited by the sound of the record. There is repetition of these themes that ties the songs together as a whole. Adams is underrated as a lyricist, no doubt! This record deals with some mature emotional themes so it might not be for everybody, but it does so in an achingly gorgeous way. " Maybe any promise anybody makes is destined for the rocks the longer it takes".....wow!

    Highlights: Gimme Something Good, Trouble, I Just Might, , Tired of Giving Up So Easy. The latter is the closest Adams has come to both the sardonic melancholy and brilliant backing tracks of the best Smiths' songs. It's hard to be as good as Morissey/Marr but he is getting damn close, in one dude! Each song has charm and craft, so you can listen and listen. This is the best written, played, and sounding album i bought this year.

    The best thing is, that after the substance abuse stuff ( been there), and the health issues, the artist has found a new confidence and a good support crew ( Mike Viola, of "Let me Hold You Little Man" fame and all the others mentioned and not mentioned.) This could easily be a Modus Operendi going forward that produces a lot of great work. My bet is the next RA album coming out of Pax Am is going to be equally great if not better. I still want to hear didgeridoo with some serious tape echo!
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  5. Sep 14, 2014
    7
    Basically the antithesis of the mostly acoustic "Ashes and Fire". A good album, but this type of rock form usually finds Ryan Adams out of hisBasically the antithesis of the mostly acoustic "Ashes and Fire". A good album, but this type of rock form usually finds Ryan Adams out of his comfort zone and not in a good way. Expand
  6. Sep 13, 2014
    4
    Ooh such a pedestrian sounding record form an artist who appears to be suffering from a crisis of musical confidence. This west coast softOoh such a pedestrian sounding record form an artist who appears to be suffering from a crisis of musical confidence. This west coast soft rock comes flavoured with a definite Tom Petty -esque blandness. Why are critics calling this record some kind of return to form ? Ashes and Fire, his last album is far better. 'Feels Like Fire' is possibly the only track which would make it on any list of his best efforts. Expand
  7. Sep 14, 2014
    2
    I read a comment from him recently recently that he'd thrown away a whole album as he wanted to break out of his acoustic comfort zone. ThatI read a comment from him recently recently that he'd thrown away a whole album as he wanted to break out of his acoustic comfort zone. That sounded a bit odd but there was always the chance this was a classic, unfortunately its not. Its the most boring generic rock I've heard in a long time.

    I know people will mention Bryan Adams but at least he wrote some memorable tracks where as there's nothing interesting about any of these songs and I can't see myself giving the whole thing more than a couple of listens.

    My advice to any fans of some of his earlier stuff is to give this a listen before buying as you're probably going to be let down.

    If however this is the first time you've heard of Ryan Adams then I'd suggest giving Heartbreaker a listen, its a superb album, and from there make sure to listen to the album before buying it as unfortunately his albums alternate between great and terrible.
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See all 9 User Reviews