Release Date: May 3, 2005
Record label: Lost Highway
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Alt-Country
Last time we received a dispatch from Ryan Adams, the self-styled savior of rock & roll, it was in 2003, when he delivered his straight-up rock & roll record (aptly titled Rock N Roll) and his two-part mope-rock EP (later combined as one LP) Love Is Hell. Admirable records both, but not quite the sequel to Heartbreaker that fans craved. They also weren't quite as successful as all the hype surrounding their release suggested that they would be, so Adams briefly retreated from the spotlight to regroup, heading back in 2005 with a planned triptych of new albums, the first of which is the double-album Cold Roses, recorded with his new backing band the Cardinals and released at the beginning of May.
Just when you thought Ryan Adams had gone a bit quiet, he comes steaming back with this fine double CD, with two further albums due for release later this year. The 19 tracks on this offering roam across a variety of musical styles (mostly in a country-tinged vein), and bristle with superb playing from his band, the Cardinals. There are some familiar Adams personae on display, like the heart-sick balladeer who drifts through How Do You Keep Love Alive, or the stomping rock'n'roller of Magnolia Mountain.