RYAN ADAMS

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Pris­oner

PAX AM

LIS­TEN: ‘Do You Still Love Me?’

THE RYAN LINE IS OPEN

First things first – the lead sin­gle on Ryan Adams’ Pris­oner, ‘Do You

Still Love Me?’, is an AOR be­he­moth in the Jour­ney/REO Speed­wagon tra­di­tion. You’ll be drum­ming the steer­ing wheel, and of­fer­ing a roared prayer to St Vinny the Fab­u­lous, up on sa­cred Mt. USA. It is bloody mar­vel­lous.

Apart from that opener, which in and of it­self is highly un­likely to be mis­taken for ‘Ev­ery­thing Is Awe­some’, the mood is dark. The breakup of Adams’ mar­riage to Mandy Moore hangs heavy, as a cur­sory glance at the song ti­tles will tell you: ‘Dooms­day’, ‘Haunted House’, ‘Break­down’, ‘Head In Oven Time’ (I made one of them up).

“Great!” I hear you say. “Ryan is back to his mis­er­able Heart­breaker best, right?” Well, no, not quite. Pris­oner is a fine record, but it’s per­haps closer in spirit to 2004’s Love Is Hell. The sound chan­nels Johnny Marr chan­nelling James Honey­man-Scott, leav­ing us in lit­tle doubt as to who got the gui­tar ped­als in the di­vorce. There are mourn­ful, Spring­steen­style har­mon­ica stabs, and even an E-Street sax break at one point – a first for Adams as far as I know.

In other places, the singer sounds a bit like Tom Petty’s cranky

\RXnJer ErRther anG , Pean that in a JRRG wa\. +eōs lRnJ sinFe aban­doned the new Gram Par­sons hat that made me fall in love with him back in Whiskey­town, but no mat­ter. He writes songs that lodge in the skXll anG there are twelve JRRG e[aPSles here.

OUT NOW / PAT CARTY

8/10

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