While it may have been three years since the release of his last LP Ashes and Fire in 2011, Ryan Adam’s new self-titled album shows that the prolific singer-songwriter is not about to retire any time soon. Oscillating between classic rock, country-folk and metal on his last 13 albums, Adams returns to a more forceful, punchier sound in comparison to his acoustic Americana predecessor Ashes and Fire.
Written over 18 months in his studio Pax Am, the North Carolinian was joined by various friends including his wife Mandy Moore and Johnny Depp, who makes an appearance on the album with an electric guitar solo in the track “Aching For More”. With a sound resonant of late 70s, early 80s alternative rock throughout, it’s not surprising various tracks are said to echo the likes of Tom Petty and even Bruce Springsteen in the song “I Just Might”. His first single from the album and also the opening track, “Gimme Something Good”, creates the sense of this being a rock album, with its catchy guitar riff and full-bodied organ. The album reaches its apex halfway through with the track “My Wrecking Ball”, echoing his country roots the album otherwise circumvents. Notably, his lyrics “My thoughts inside my head get lost inside that haunted house,” suggesting his pining for someone now gone.
Despite its rocky, upbeat feel, the singer’s melancholic lyrics are present throughout and prove this album to be truly Ryan Adams in name and in spirit. Ryan Adams is out now. Any fans should be aware that Adams will be appearing at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow on September 25.