Ryan Adams's upcoming album Easy Tiger is due June 26th. A couple of days ago, two tracks from the album made their way onto the intertubes. These tracks were featured on an exclusive promo only CD alongside a "mini-greatest hits" collection of older Ryan Adams tracks. While "Two" fares much better than the more rockish "Halloween Head", I have to say that I am less than overwhelmed by these tunes. "Two" is a mid-tempo alt-country number with nice lyrics ("Well my money's no good, when I'm up to no good") and features tasteful backing vocals from Sheryl Crow. There is a undercurrent of resignation throughout the song and Ryan is letting a lover know that he is willing to sacrifice, as "it takes two when it used to take one". The song is mostly true to the live versions, but feels a bit short at 2 minutes 38 seconds. "Halloween Head" sounds like a Rock n Roll B-side and suffers from the tossed-off feel and lazy-ass lyrics that plagued tunes like "Wish You Were Here" from that album. Here are two examples of the offending lyrical atrocities: "It's all the same old shit again, I've got a Halloween Head" and "What the fuck's wrong with me, God I'm a Halloween Head". Seriously? He even shouts "guitar solo!" before the simple, effect pedal-heavy "guitar" lead, for christsakes. Why? When many of your critics are quick to point out that your version of rock and roll is sometimes cartoonish (denim jackets, American flags, etc.) and prone to posturing, why even bait them with this type of shit. With that said, Ryan's vocal performance is actually pretty excellent if you can get over the crap that comes with it.
While I'm disappointed with "Halloween Head" and a bit indifferent towards "Two", I still have a feeling that Easy Tiger will be strong. This is based on the strength of live versions of the material and the early reviews of the album. Filter Magazine gave Easy Tiger an 86%, calling the album "focused and fortified", "the real deal", and said it would "likely be adored by many". In an album "preview" that pretty much reads as a review, Rollingstone similarly gushed about the album. But, they also referred to "Halloween Head" as a "great track", so that doesn't bode incredibly well. Still, I've been a fan of Ryan for years and get excited about every release. It's just unfortunate I had to hear a clunker like "Halloween Head" before the presumably numerous better tracks on the album.
Stream the tunes:
Here's a previously recorded version of a good tune (from the Suicide Handbook sessions) that will appear on Easy Tiger--> MP3:Ryan Adams - "Off Broadway"
Download/listen to live versions of many of the tracks on Easy Tiger: Here.
Watch a sweet video of Ryan and the Cardinals performing the excellent tune which will be the opener on Easy Tiger, "Goodnight Rose": Here.
All MP3 files linked to on this site are available for a limited time and are for sampling / evaluation purposes only. I'm simply here to promote artists and music I enjoy. Do your part by supporting the artists who create this great music. If you represent an artist and you would like a link to a file removed immediately, just let me know.