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Wonderwall by Ryan Adams

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Reviewed on 3rd July 2004.



By Ryan Adams

The eerie echoes of Adams' cover of the Oasis classic give way to ringing, plucked chords sprawling across the rich landscape. At first smooth and effortless, his voice becomes more plaintive as it floats over the shifting acoustics; ebbing, flowing and finally breaking before the gliding piano line lifts you through misty spheres of sky and cloud, melancholic and adrift. And no, I have not been taking drugs.

Whereas the Gallaghers' original is an anthem of conviction and belief in a lover, it isn't hard to feel that Adams' version mourns the loss of her. This is his quality. Even if he sang 'Shiny Happy People' on speed in the middle of a field of strawberries surrounded by baby rabbits, there would still be a conflict within his voice - even his most exuberant songs are tinged with a loneliness and desolation which is perfectly showcased here. A truly wonderful and wistful interpretation.

Ah, but this isn't it. Bring on the B-sides! CD1 is somewhat fleetingly backed up by a brief take on the swirling, screeching 'Rock N Roll' blast-off 'This Is It', now reduced to grumbling acoustics, Adams' dark country barland peeping through croaky, creaky mutterings. 'I Want To Go Home' and 'Suspicion', both found on CD2, are slightly ramshackle studio whirls which provide a contrast to the resounding, sleepy A-side. 'I Want To Go Home's twirling introduction leads into a bouncy, spiralling chorus and 'Suspicion's refrain of 'We hurt the ones we love' marks a return to the likes of 'Gold' favourites with its smoky, bluesy piano.

But finally, the real treat, for those who can be bothered to make a half-assed attempt at skewering their mitts on the internal workings of a record player, lies in the shape of 'One By One', the B-side on the vinyl edition. It's a pounding Western waltz...you know what, just go buy it. I am in far too much pain to type. I think I'll go find a bandage now.



All replies to this article. Log in to post a reply.

On 3rd July 2004 at 10:45 Anonymous 13 wrote...

great review! great nom de plume! (even if it's a real one too)


On 3rd July 2004 at 16:54 Anonymous 251 wrote...

Yes, wonderful. Glad someone else is flying the Ryan flag, think I have written enough on him.
Not had chance to play the 7" yet but I love This Is It although it's not as good as the acoustic version I saw him play in Nottingham.


On 3rd July 2004 at 20:02 Anonymous 2832 wrote...

Thanks guys, glad ya liked it. Ryan is my favourite artist (you can probably tell from the five stars and excessive ramblings) and we don't hear enough of him, though hopefully there's a new full release on the way soon...



On 3rd July 2004 at 21:47 Anonymous 2833 wrote...

Talking of pigeons, I'm a big Ryan fan, all due to one little gal in the world, and i love this review. Once i have money i will be buying the 7" as it sounds great. Great review, i look forward to more in the future. xxx


On 3rd July 2004 at 21:52 Anonymous 251 wrote...

Check out his site, it looks like theres nothing there but if you right click on the Flash image and hit play then there are 5 tracks to listen to.
His wrist is still fucked apparently so not sure when he'll be recording/touring again. In the meantime we have Jesse Malin to entertain us though !


On 4th July 2004 at 00:25 Anonymous 1944 wrote...

As much as I love the work of Mr Adams I hear he is a bit of a tool. Can anyone shed any light on whether he is a bastard or not? I'm sure you can Mike_Q since you r a tool yourself


On 4th July 2004 at 00:46 Anonymous 1944 wrote...

Only joking there. don't want you getting upset now


On 4th July 2004 at 02:09 Anonymous 251 wrote...

Well I think most of the time he's just pretty fucked up. He doesnt take too well to Bryan Adams jokes but he didnt sound like he gt pissed off when Uncut phoned him to tell him Rock n Roll was shit. Which it isn't. Jesse Malin seems like one of the nicest men on earth having spoken to him briefly a couple of times and from what I have read about him, I cant imagine him being such good mates with Ryan if he really was a grade A arsehole.
It's like Adam Duritz I guess, he's just outspoken and and isnt going to b false with anyone just cos they like his music. Go read Duritz diary entries on the Counting Crows website, some really funny stuff, he's always bitchin back at the fans who bitch on the message boards. He's a smart guy, very dry wit.


On 5th July 2004 at 21:34 Anonymous 2832 wrote...

Shep!! That is not your name!! Thanks hunny.

Mike_Q, you're right, Jesse is a wonderful, wonderful man. Came across his Mona Lisa single today after having searched every conceivable shop in the entirity of Yorkshire for the past four weeks for said single...loving the 'Holy Ghosts' B-Side. That man is a geniowse. Also found a pretty version of the 'Wendy' single. In fact I do believe you may be the guy who writes for LMS who was at the Manchester Academy 3 gig. I was the girl in the Rolling Stones tee.

Ryan seems like a really complex guy. He's fantastic, enigmatic, intriguing, but yeah, a little mucked up. But this is what make the music coming from him so good, you just can't work him out. I'm so excited about any new material from him, especially as it's usually pouring out of his ears. Let's hear it for a UK tour when he's better.


On 5th July 2004 at 23:08 Anonymous 251 wrote...

Ah !! Hiya, yep that was me if you look at the other stuff on Jesse and Ryan I am sure you can work out who I am , I remember you and that bitchin tee! Am glad you took my advice and sent something in, nice work !So you off to York on Friday to see Jesse? I can't unfortunately as I'm off to see The Glitterati in Sheffield. You should come to The Cockpit on Tues 13th to see my band and maybe get your second review up on here!


On 7th July 2004 at 16:42 Anonymous 2833 wrote...

Just wana say 'tis my fault that she cannot come to your gig, soz, but we'll def come next time, keep us informed. By the way, Coumbia, i do have a surname which happens to be extremely similar to a particular person in the world, so there!!
Forgot to ask whether the singles were good,doh!


On 8th July 2004 at 14:19 Anonymous 251 wrote...

Ah that is ok Shep, hope to see you both at the next one!



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