Release Date: Sep 27, 2005
Record label: Lost Highway
Genre(s): Indie, Rock, Alt-Country
Ever since the big, splashy Gold failed to make Ryan Adams an all-conquering superstar -- it bolstered his reputation as a rock critic darling, but never had the sales to match the press -- he's retreated to genre exercises, beginning with the sleek modern rock of 2003's Rock N Roll and its moody alt-rock counterpart, Love Is Hell, carrying through to his Neil Young/Grateful Dead pastiche on his spring 2005 double album, Cold Roses, and now its autumn sequel, Jacksonville City Nights. Arriving a little over four months after Cold Roses as the second installment of a planned trilogy of 2005 releases, Jacksonville City Nights -- which at one point was going to be called the less-evocative but calendar-specific September -- is Adams' straight-up, straight-ahead country album, a lean 46-minute collection of 14 songs designed for late-night drinking. While the terrific cover art deliberately echoes classic '60s country LPs, the sound of the album isn't quite as honky tonk as that suggests, thanks to a handful of brooding numbers like "September" that are too introspective, lyric-centered, and light on melody to truly qualify as classicist country.