Release Date: 06.25.07
Record label: Lost Highway
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.
Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
by: Jonathan Arber
Easy Tiger Rock label: Lost Highway released: 06.25.07 our score: 3.5 out of 5.0
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It’s hard not to feel some sympathy for Ryan Adams. Critics bash him for being over prolific and behaving “erratically”, and then when he cleans up his act and leaves a gap between albums, they moan that he’s no fun anymore. It’s true that Easy Tiger is a more polished record than some of his more recent releases, but I’m not sure this represents a new “adult” direction for him. Ryan Adams has always jumped from style to style, whether with the Cardinals or solo, moving far beyond the alt-country tag he’s sometimes saddled with.
Despite being nominally a solo album, this is very much a band effort, as proved on opener Goodnight Rose, which finds the Cardinals in the same driving country rock vein as Cold Roses. Even if there’s nothing here that grabs you in the way “Oh My Sweet Carolina” did, there’s nothing here to embarrass either. Even on “Halloweenhead”, which hearkens back to the unfortunate Rock and Roll album, Adams just about gets away with it thanks to a much needed injection of humour. In fact, he almost sounds like he’s having (dare I say it) fun. Despite leaning towards MOR in places, Adams proves he can still write Heartbreakers, with the gentle folk guitar on “Oh my God, Whatever, Etc” echoing his earliest solo efforts.
Lyrically, it’s pretty much what you’d expect (bar Halloweenhead), with the usual tales of loss, loneliness and missed opportunities, but he can still write a killer couplet – ‘My money’s no good/when I’m up to no good/No good ever comes from it honest’.If anything, Easy Tiger sounds like a summary of his career to date, taking something from each of his previous albums, rather than a step forward. This in itself is no bad thing – depending on your opinion of Ryan Adams. If you don’t like him, then this won’t be the album to surprise or convert you, if you do, you’ll likely love it.