Playing God
Ryan Adams - The 2005 Output

By: John Davidson

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Posted 02/06/2006 - 09:58:30 AM by jhitting:
 I'll be the first to admit that Ryan Adams overindulges in most every way. But then again, he had more than 12 good songs this last year. Oh well, this is a cool article because it's something I've wanted to do all year.
Posted 02/06/2006 - 10:28:42 AM by raskolnikov:
 Ryan Adams is terrible. He's also a real asshole in person...I've seen it with my own eyes in NYC. He's also in love with himself and acts like interviews are more important than his ostensible "craft". His music is so derivative that it hardly merits a comment, his lyrics are shallow and trite, and he cannot edit himself in the slightest. Only at this magazine would critics indulge a petulant egomaniac who released 3 shitty albums in the space of one year by painstakingly assembling a barely-passable single disc. Oh, and one more thing--his live shows are an utter embarrassment, overpriced and underrehearsed. If you took away his influences, what would you have left?
Posted 02/06/2006 - 11:50:48 AM by pabanks46:

raskolnikov hits it out of the park. Yell out Bryan Adams at his shows and see how quickly you can flush everyone's admission down the toilet when he throws a fit and runs off stage. People that like this... meh, I'm too bored thinking of actual Ryan Adams fans to come up with something creative to insult them. Fuck them all.
Posted 02/06/2006 - 01:13:18 PM by cables:
 Where's the love for 29? Cool arcticle though. I agree with jhitting that he definately released more than 12 good tracks last year. As for the other comments.. if you don't like Ryan Adams or his fans, thats fine. We don't like you either.
Posted 02/06/2006 - 01:15:33 PM by cuneyt81:
 Every time I see pabanks46 posting stuff, it's all negative. Just an observation. Nonetheless, this is a really good little sampler!
Posted 02/06/2006 - 01:25:14 PM by venezuelan1:
 Thanks for this article. It really is something that I have wanted to do, though I have hesitated at listening to 29 because I thought that Jacksonville City Nights was so dissapointing. Ryan Adams is one of the most frustrating artists I have ever encountered. His Whiskeytown output, Heartbreaker and parts of Gold I've have listened to until my ears have gotten sore. I don't know if I'll ever be able to grasp the prestine honesty of that music. But his albums since then and his public persona make it seem as though he's coasting on his own potential, writing songs that seldom approach anywhere near his early level of brillance. And for all the haters, please check out any of his stuff prior 2001 before you start totally bashing the guy.
Posted 02/06/2006 - 01:26:27 PM by venezuelan1:
 * I have listened to
Posted 02/06/2006 - 02:01:08 PM by pabanks46:
 I'm not always negative. All you have to do is click my name to see other posts I've made to see that. As far as Ryan Adams fans not liking the Adams haters: great. I don't want ppl that fawn over a fucking half-baked hack seeing something in me they like. I'll get paranoid that I'm even more lame than I initially thought.

Oh, that was negative. Here is something positive: SUMMER OF 69!!!!
Posted 02/06/2006 - 03:03:38 PM by boilingboy:
 Is music so boring right now that there's this much critical text devoted to Ryan Adams? While you're at it, you might want to discuss the recent merits of Moby, Beck and Fatboy Slim...equally irrelevant. Steve Earle should come kick the sorry ass of Ryan Adams.
Posted 02/07/2006 - 04:27:54 PM by thewiseacre:
 No love for "29" because I consider it to be his worst album by a long shot. It doesn't play to his strengths, it plays to what I consider his weaknesses. The point of this article was to pick the 12 or so best songs from 2005 to show that Adams might have a solid album in him every year if he'd only pause to either edit or surround himself with people who will. That Adams can be an asshole is irrelevant to his albums just as it is for the legions of assholes who have preceded him. Raskolnikov detests Adams but ironically listens to all his music and goes to his shows...not sure what to make of that, but if you hate him then ignore him. Go spend your money and time on someone you care about.
Posted 02/08/2006 - 07:14:47 AM by raskolnikov:
 I don't go to Ryan Adams shows by choice. I had to work one, and it was excruciating. His music, similarly, is hard to hide from in NYC if you go out to bars or have friends with different musical tastes...there are a lot of stupid people in this world, and some of them are Ryan Adams fans.
Posted 02/09/2006 - 09:19:57 AM by jhitting:
 Actually, Cold Roses and JCN were both pretty darn good. They even hold up to his older stuff. Sure, his sound is derivative, but EVERYTHING is. Literature, music, movies, etc. It's all influenced by the past. That's just a silly point to bring up. His live shows do kind of suck, though. I'll give you that. But the guy is definitely talented, if a little pretentious when it comes to lyrics. Still, good article, well-timed and just about what I would have said.
Posted 02/09/2006 - 04:08:38 PM by boilingboy:
 I do wonder how many people now actually buy tickets to his show just to shout out "Summer of '69" or "Cuts Like a Knife". The thought of it cracks me up.
Posted 02/17/2006 - 03:26:53 AM by rasm0225:
 Point 1: 'Ryan Adams needs an editor.' Probably the most common criticism leveled at him. But doesn't this imply that there is common consensus as to which of his songs are better and which are worse? I bet that if you asked a group of people to privately pick the bottom third of Jacksonville and Cold Roses (I can't speak for 29), you'd see very little overlap as to what the disliked songs are. But if you did the same for Devendra's Cripple Crow, Magnetic Fields 69 love songs, SP Mellon Collie, or even the Beatles White Album, you'd find much more overlap in these lists. So I don't think he needs an editor. I think people need to just accept the fact that he writes a lot. Some people like some stuff, other people like other stuff, and some people hate the guy and/or his music. Point 2: I think the author is crazy to say the Cardinals are 'right up there with Whiskeytown.' The same Whiskeytown slogging through Faithless Street with zero finesse? The Cardinals are miles above. Point 3: 'Lyrically, he spends most of his capital on tales of unrequited love, so it’s not difficult to weave together a coherent narrative from all of the available material.' I think Davidson missed a major theme which is the fact that RA trying to deal with the fact that he's a type A pothead. How many songs does he sing about the fact that he's working hard? It's like he's apologizing to his dad for his chosen profession of musician. Yet he longs for an easy plateau and decline. Point 4: You're crazy not to include the title track from Cold Roses and Strawberry Wine. Point 5: Hearbreaker is a really cheezy record and should not be the benchmark for his career. CR and JCN are both much better. Then end. Oh yeah! Point 6: Ryan Adams sucks. Point 7: I'm cool.
Posted 02/21/2006 - 01:03:06 PM by thewiseacre:
 POINT 1: The reason people think Ryan Adams needs an editor is not because he releases so many songs, but that so many of them are mediocre. It makes him look less talented. I and many others accept the fact that he writes a lot, we just don't think that everything he writes is worth hearing. POINT 2: When I say the Cardinals are right up there with Whiskeytown, I'm not referring to Faithless Street-era Whiskeytown (Whiskeytown's debut album), which featured much less experienced players and songwriting. POINT 3: Adams doesn's sing about being a pothead. I stand by the assertions in this article. POINT 4: That's a matter of taste. POINT 5: Heartbreaker is the primary reason Ryan Adams got his record deal with Lost Highway, his friendship with Elton John, and critical success following Whiskeytown. It's also a great solo record, something that JCN and CR are not. POINT 6: Ryan Adams doesn't suck as much as, say, Devendra. Whatever. POINT 7: See Point 4.