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Ryan Adams - Gold

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Gold

Ryan Adams

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One would think that being Ryan Adams would be a pretty good deal at the time of this album's release; he had a major-label deal, critics were in love with him, he got to date Winona Ryder and Alanis Morissette, Elton John went around telling everyone he was a genius, and his record company gave him carte blanche to do whatever he wanted. But to listen to Gold, Adams' first solo album for his big-league sponsors at Lost Highway, one senses that there are about a dozen other musicians Adams would love to be, and nearly all of them were at their peak in the early to mid-'70s. Adams' final album with Whiskeytown, Pneumonia, made it clear that he was moving beyond the scruffy alt-country of his early work, and Gold documents his current fascination with '70s rock. Half the fun of the album is playing "Spot the Influence": "Answering Bell" is a dead ringer for Van Morrison (with fellow Morrison enthusiast Adam Duritz on backing vocals), "Tina Toledo's Street Walkin' Blues" is obviously modeled on the Rolling Stones, "Harder Now That It's Over" sounds like Harvest-period Neil Young, "New York, New York" resembles Stephen Stills in his livelier moments (Stephen's son, Chris Stills, plays on the album), and "Rescue Blues" and "La Cienega Just Smiled" suggest the influence of Adams' pal Elton John. Of course, everyone has their influences, and Adams seems determined to make the most of them on Gold; it's a far more ambitious album than his solo debut, Heartbreaker. The performances are polished, Ethan Johns' production is at once elegant and admirably restrained, Adams is in strong voice throughout, and several of the songs are superb, especially the swaggering but lovelorn "New York, New York," the spare and lovely "When the Stars Go Blue," and the moody closer, "Goodnight, Hollywood Blvd." But while Gold sounds like a major step forward for Adams in terms of technique, it lacks the heart and soul of Heartbreaker or Pneumonia; the album seems to reflect craft rather than passion, and while it's often splendid craft, the fire that made Whiskeytown's best work so special isn't evident much of the time. Gold sounds like an album that could win Ryan Adams a lot of new fans (especially with listeners whose record collections go back a ways), but longtime fans may be a bit put off by the album's richly crafted surfaces and emotionally hollow core.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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Gold

Ryan Adams

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1
New York, New York
00:03:46

Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, Electric Guitar, Hammond B3, Conga, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Causon, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Stills, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Kamasi Washington, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Mercury, a division of Universal Music GmbH

2
Firecracker
00:02:51

Benmont Tench, Piano, Hammond B3, AssociatedPerformer - Jennifer Condos, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Stills, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Answering Bell
00:03:04

Benmont Tench, Hammond B3, AssociatedPerformer - Jennifer Condos, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Adam Duritz, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bucky Baxter, Steel Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
La Cienega Just Smiled
00:05:01

Jennifer Condos, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, Vibraphone, Strings, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Causon, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Stills, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
The Rescue Blues
00:03:38

Benmont Tench, Hammond B3, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Somehow, Someday
00:04:24

Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Hammond B3, Mandocello, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Causon, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Chris Stills, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
When The Stars Go Blue
00:03:32

Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Piano, Strings, Harmonium, Mandocello, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Causon, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Julianna Raye, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Nobody Girl
00:09:38

Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Hammond B3, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Stills, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - C.C. White, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Milo De Cruz, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Sylvia Plath
00:04:09

Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Causon, Author, Piano, Strings, AssociatedPerformer - Sid Paige, Unknown, Other

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Enemy Fire
00:04:08

Jennifer Condos, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gillian Welch, Author

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Gonna Make You Love Me
00:02:37

Mitchell Leib, Unknown, Other - Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Stills, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Milo De Cruz, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Desiree Craig-Ramos, Unknown, Other

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
Wild Flowers
00:04:59

Jennifer Condos, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, Vibraphone, Strings, Celesta, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Stills, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Harder Now That It's Over
00:04:33

Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Mandolin, Strings, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Stills, Author, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Bucky Baxter, Steel Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Rami Jaffi, Accordion, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
Touch, Feel & Lose
00:04:15

Benmont Tench, Hammond B3, AssociatedPerformer - Jennifer Condos, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - David Rawlings, Author - Kamasi Washington, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Andre Carter, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
Tina Toledo's Street Walkin' Blues
00:06:06

Benmont Tench, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Author, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Stills, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - C.C. White, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Milo De Cruz, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

16
Goodnight, Hollywood Blvd.
00:03:24

Ryan Adams, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Ethan Johns, Producer, Mixer, String Arranger, Engineer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Steven Rhodes, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Richard Causon, Author, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Sid Paige, Unknown, Other

℗ 2001 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album Description

One would think that being Ryan Adams would be a pretty good deal at the time of this album's release; he had a major-label deal, critics were in love with him, he got to date Winona Ryder and Alanis Morissette, Elton John went around telling everyone he was a genius, and his record company gave him carte blanche to do whatever he wanted. But to listen to Gold, Adams' first solo album for his big-league sponsors at Lost Highway, one senses that there are about a dozen other musicians Adams would love to be, and nearly all of them were at their peak in the early to mid-'70s. Adams' final album with Whiskeytown, Pneumonia, made it clear that he was moving beyond the scruffy alt-country of his early work, and Gold documents his current fascination with '70s rock. Half the fun of the album is playing "Spot the Influence": "Answering Bell" is a dead ringer for Van Morrison (with fellow Morrison enthusiast Adam Duritz on backing vocals), "Tina Toledo's Street Walkin' Blues" is obviously modeled on the Rolling Stones, "Harder Now That It's Over" sounds like Harvest-period Neil Young, "New York, New York" resembles Stephen Stills in his livelier moments (Stephen's son, Chris Stills, plays on the album), and "Rescue Blues" and "La Cienega Just Smiled" suggest the influence of Adams' pal Elton John. Of course, everyone has their influences, and Adams seems determined to make the most of them on Gold; it's a far more ambitious album than his solo debut, Heartbreaker. The performances are polished, Ethan Johns' production is at once elegant and admirably restrained, Adams is in strong voice throughout, and several of the songs are superb, especially the swaggering but lovelorn "New York, New York," the spare and lovely "When the Stars Go Blue," and the moody closer, "Goodnight, Hollywood Blvd." But while Gold sounds like a major step forward for Adams in terms of technique, it lacks the heart and soul of Heartbreaker or Pneumonia; the album seems to reflect craft rather than passion, and while it's often splendid craft, the fire that made Whiskeytown's best work so special isn't evident much of the time. Gold sounds like an album that could win Ryan Adams a lot of new fans (especially with listeners whose record collections go back a ways), but longtime fans may be a bit put off by the album's richly crafted surfaces and emotionally hollow core.
© Mark Deming /TiVo

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