label: Lost Highway
our score: 3.0 out of 5.0
New York, New York
3. Answering Bell
4. La Cienega Just Smiled
5. The Rescue Blues
6. Somehow, Someday
7. When The Stars Go Blue
8. Nobody Girl
9. Sylvia Plath
10. Enemy Fire
11. Gonna Make You Love Me
12. Wild Flowers
13. Harder Now That It's Over
14. Touch, Feel & Lose
15. Tina Toledo's Street Walkin' Blues
16. Goodnight, Hollywood Blvd
From a quick
glance at the cover of Gold, you may immediately think
"Now there's a good ol' American rock 'n' roll boy."
Then, as you take a second look you may notice the flag Ryan Adams
has placed himself before is, in fact, inverted. So your next
thought may be, "What, is he trying to be the anti-hero to
Bruce Springsteen and his classic 'Born in the USA' image?"
The reality, however, is that the question is pointless overall
since you're never going to achieve a complete answer. One thing
that is certain though is the fact that from the cover alone you
can get the feel that Adams has a tendency to place himself in
a much greater light than he may deserve. Still, upon actually
listening to the album you'll learn he's not quite the
pompous bastard he'd like you to believe. He's more of a run-of-the-mill
rock 'n' roll jackass.
it must be made clear that being a jackass isn't bad by default
when it comes to rock music. It is, after all, what makes some
musicians so memorable. They're emotional creatures by design;
where else would they find the words for their poetry? This Whiskeytown
frontman is no different. Gold is, without argument, a
collection of fairly sucessful roots rock concoctions - each one
defined by a strong lyrical sense.
Like most successful
country/rock confections, Adams does the obligatory exploration
of emotion through an array of introspective ballads and all-out
rockers (well as rocking as folk rock can get). "La Cienega
Just Smiled," "Firecracker" and "Sylvia Plath"
are ample proof of this songwriting and musical ability. And overall
the album is an impressive exploration of territory previously
covered by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and other greats before him.
Still the album
does hold an overall air of narcissism. With a running time of
over 70 minutes, one can't help but notice Adams overindulgence
in himself. By the time "Harder Now That It's Over"
comes to a close you'll find yourself realizing the album really
hasn't gone anywhere since "Enemy Fire" and you're wondering
why it's still playing. Sure, each track on Gold is good
for what it is (I do personally dig this disc) but in all reality
none of them is truly outstanding. Adams is absolutely a great
rock musician with a superbly crafted lyrical sense,
but he isn't God.
but you aren't.