- Article by: Troy Akers
- Posted: 10/04/2011
Ryan Adams hasn't been on the scene in quite some time. He’s released scattered B-sides of his own accord while battling a debilitating hearing disease and marrying a pop princess. Perhaps for that reason, Adams’ new release, Ashes & Fire, is reminiscent of an old friend you haven't talked to in years.
Eleven songs strong, the thirteenth studio album from David Ryan Adams is his most bold release since the quivering Heartbreaker. Perfectly conceived by veteran producer Glyn Johns, Ashes seems to glisten with exactly what Adams has always been known for: killer songwriting.
To say there are standout tracks would be to spit at what Adams tried to accomplish with this record. Holding back from releasing the plethora of songs he usually would in a season of recording, Adams claims these are the best and nothing more.
Still, it can’t be ignored that sides like “Save Me” find a way of gripping a string that only Adams can arrest with a line as simple as “What am I doing here?” And there seems to be a sense of wonder and awe with a side like “Kindness,” which boasts backing vocals from Norah Jones and Adams’ wife Mandy Moore.
The space left between the stanzas “Do you believe in love?” is a daring and effective move for a writer like Adams who would usually be too ADHD to let such a line breathe.
But he does.
Ashes & Fire might not be as brash as Easy Tiger and certainly isn’t as swanky as his Cardinals effort Cold Roses, but this is a strong statement from Adams, simply saying, “I’m back and this is home.”
"Lucky Now" - Ryan Adams