Wednesday, January 27, 2010

41. Cold Roses – Ryan Adams & the Cardinals (2005)

(Taken from the SCQ Review:)

Cold Roses is chocked full of nature imagery to the point of overkill. In this rural landscape he has painted, every street is named after plants or fruit, any obstacles made of earth and stone, every girl a river or rose. Most every reference is indicative of his own newfound peace, an easy plateau, so to speak, after the tumultuous years of Love is Hell and Rock N Roll that reached climax when he severely broke his wrist during a stage-fall in early 2004. Newly subdued and reflective, ‘How Do You Keep Love Alive’ finds Adams completely at odds with his winking counterpart while ‘When Will You Come Back Home’ is a James Taylor cover waiting to happen (as my father accurately pinned). His serene disposition even touches on ideas of spirituality in ‘Life is Beautiful’, a song that speaks volumes when compared to ‘Fuck the Universe’, written not two years earlier.

The idea of a Ryan Adams double-album rang off as redundant in some circles who deemed much of his records excessive and poorly edited, but Cold Roses proves focused, not only in its Grateful Dead jam-ability sense, but because I can only find two songs I could bear to cut from this eighteen song-cycle. And when tracks like ‘Sweet Illusions’ and ‘Cherry Lane’ aren’t wooing you with their mid-tempo guitar licks, you’re staring in the headlights of ‘Let It Ride’, one of Adams’ best songs ever.

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