Ryan Adams – ‘Ryan Adams’

For album number 14, the singer turns to the rock sheen of his near namesake, Bryan

At a 2002 concert, Ryan Adams famously (and understandably) reacted angrily upon hearing a request for ‘Summer Of ’69’. With this 14th album, he’s asking for trouble – much of it sounds like something his Canadian near-namesake could have released in the mid-’80s. Moody opener ‘Gimme Something Good’ and ‘Trouble’ smack also of Tom Petty, but the stripped-back yet sumptuous ‘Kim’ could be an offcut from Bryan Adams’ 1987 album ‘Into The Fire’. The defining sheen of that album’s producer Bob Clearmountain is present throughout this record – in the shimmering echo of ‘Stay With Me’, the burning atmosphere of ‘Feels Like Fire’ and the glossy polish of ‘Tired Of Giving Up’. But none of this is bad, not least because it works. Repeated listens unmask ‘Ryan Adams’ as a great record, and a sleek departure from 2011’s ‘Ashes & Fire’, which saw Adams rekindle the gut-wrenching sadness of his debut ‘Heartbreaker’. He’ll just need to get used to that heckling.

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