Tag Archives: rockist

Easy Tiger

On Tuesday, I was one of those people who rush out to buy albums.  This week it was Ryan Adams’ new album Easy Tiger. Much of what I’ve read says that Ryan has turned his life around, gone sober, fixed everything. It’s great for him personally but I quickly noticed that there is a darkness missing from his music that drew you in and kept you there. Over the past few years it seems that everyone has wondered where the seemingly lost, wonderful Ryan Adams had gone. Where was the musician with all the potential? I would be one to argue that he was there in front of us all along. His works on Love is Hell (Pt. 1 & 2), Cold Roses, Jacksonville City Nights, and 29 far surpassed anything from his earlier works.  They were among some of the best music released in the past few years.

Many of these csame ritics feel that Ryan Adams has reached the golden age of the past with his new work on Easy Tiger.  I find the album listenable but overall a little too easy.  Let me start by saying I like the album but find it to be one of his more average works.  I understand that Lost Highway is making a big push, that Ryan has cleaned himself up and that respectable society is welcoming him back, that the public relations machine has been working in overdrive, and that the critics are maligning all his old work so that the new work can be accepted but I feel like this record (yes I still call them records) doesn’t challenge the listener or the artist. 

So how is it too easy?  I find it a little over produced, a little too safe, a little too slick and smooth (it doesn’t make me stop what I’m doing to listen to it).  It’s not rock, it’s not country (or even alt-country)… it’s pop.  Sometimes too pop.  The first half of the album feels very flat to me, like all the emotion has been drained out.  From the pre-release reviews I expected something more.  Something like the perfection of Cold Roses crossed with Jacksonville City Nights.  Instead I feel like I got an album that could be titled Plastic Roses.

My goal here isn’t to crap all over this album though.  I still think Ryan Adams is better than 99.5% of everything else out there.  I’m just doing what everyone else, every other bullshit reviewer does… compare him to himself.  Honestly, I think in 20 years we’re going to be looking back on a catalog of music that could be called Dylanesque (my apologies to Bryan Ferry).  The problem is that music reviewers seem to want EVERY album to be a masterpiece now.  Every album must show an artist’s full potential.  On top of that, the world is turned on it’s head.  Good artists are criticized for not being either totally pop-friendly or avant-garde, while shitty acts (90% of what is on the radio) are held up as the paragons of virtue. 

So getting back to Ryan Adams and the album at hand.  I think there are some strong and some weak songs on the album.  Some that stand out and sing and some that are a little over produced and hide Ryan’s talent…

The Good

While in need of some of their rough edges back, I do think there are a few really good songs on this album.  Those include Tears of Gold, Pearls on a String, Two Hearts, and These Girls.  These, for me, are almost equal to the songs on Cold Roses and Jacksonville City Nights.  They have that feel, that soul. 

The Filler

Goodnight Rose:   To be honest, while it’s a good song this song DOES sound like one from Cold Roses that should have been left on the cutting room floor.  It’s not memorable and kind of bops along. 

Two:  While a beautiful song, it’s the most over produced pop, radio-friendly of the entire album.  I would have prefered it if the theme was “it takes two but now there’s only one.”

Oh My God, Whatever, Etc., I Taught Myself How to Grow Old:  These songs just seem to blend together.  They don’t stand out in my brain even though I’ve been listening to the album for a while now.

Undetermined

There are a few songs I don’t know what to do with.  These include On Broadway which was called the dud by a few reviewers.  If anything it captures the most emotion on the album.

Everybody Knows and Halloweenhead are the two I still can’t figure out.  Are they good, are they lazy?  Do they need another take?   

To end my long winded rant, Ryan Adams gives up the soul and pain for production value and an editor in this album.  Personally I think it’s a bad trade as this record isn’t as strong as his last three.

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Keep the Horse Tranquilizers Away From Keith

So, talk about the dumb news story of the day… Of course, it’s those wacky Europeans up to their tricks again. They want to drug horses that will be close to a Rolling Stones concert so as to not upset them. With all of the racism, screwed up policies, misplaced concerns, etc. that come out Europe this is the issue they decide to address?

Exciting White Stripes News

I got an e-mail from the White Stripes today outlining the details of their new album!!

The White Stripes will release their sixth album  ‘Icky Thump’, on XL Recordings in UK/Europe on June 18th and on Warner Brothers Records in North America, SE Asia, and Japan on June 19th.

Here is a link to the new album’s cover art

Here is a link to the track listing

It’s nice to see the best band in the world out there doing it again. Go Jack & Meg!

American Idle

So Sanjaya lives and the people who have too much free time and no taste or responsibilities in the world are going apeshit crazy. Today, I noticed that Yahoo! had something on their main page and people are really upset about this Sanjaya thing.

Come on people, get over yourself. The idiots who won in the past aren’t any good. Milli Vanilli sold a lot of records too and they SUCKED. Go listen to your Clay Aiken records and read Teen People and USA Today and think that you’re in touch with culture and the arts in your own little delusional world. The rest of us are going to have fun screwing with the show and watching it go down in flames. LONG LIVE SANJAYA.

I wonder if the woman on a hunger strike against Sanjaya has croaked yet? Eat a Cheesburger for Sanjaya! (or if you’re Catholic eat a Filet O’ Fish with Cheese today).

Rock Hall Mistake?

So, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland has decided to admit it’s first Rap/Hip Hop Artist. I respectfully must disagree with this decision. While I do not like rap/Hip Hop, I do understand that people do care for it greatly. Like Country or Opera or Bluegrass or World Music or Gregorian Chants or Classical it’s a genre of music that exists and has fans. One thing, however, that it is not is ROCK.

As a proud Rockist I am upset by this decision. I think that Hip Hop should have it’s own hall of fame. If they wish to include rock artists they can, but to be honest, I don’t think the two belong together. The rule for eligibility is 25 years from the first album. That would put us at 1982. There have to be bands whose first album was released in 1982 that are more deserving to be in the ROCK Hall of Fame… How about:

Gang of Four
Husker Du
Bad Religion
Sonic Youth
Mission of Burma

These are all bands that released an album in 1982, a few of them were debuts. It seems to me that Sonic Youth has done more for rock than any rap artist.