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Demolition by Ryan Adams

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Reviewed on 1st October 2002.



By Ryan Adams

Demolition is essentially a greatest demos collection. The incredibly prolific Adams had 5 albums worth of material which he planned to release, yet has wisely decided to compile the best bits of all those different sessions into what is available from your local Virgin, Internet store or Sainsbury's now. And he's now working on the 'proper' follow up to last year's 'Gold'.

To say that these recordings are all live demos the quality of the sound is pretty outstanding and if I'd not mentioned it then it's possible that you'd never have realised this was so.

The album open's with current single 'Nuclear', an upbeat offering that begins with twanging guitars before living up to it's title and giving Adams opportunity to deliver his throaty style in the final "Gimme an answer" refrain. Backed here by his live band, 'The Pink Hearts', we get the young troubadour rocking out in a way that befits his live performances. 'Desire' is the flipside of the coin. With soft acoustic guitar and a little mandolin added for good measure we get gentle vocals that show the New York resident's vulnerability.

Most of the songs here are about personal heartbreak or tragedy and quite simply this is what Adams is good at. 'Cry On Demand' has him quivering through the verses whilst 'She Wants To Play Hearts' is a a fragile tale of an unrequited love.

The blend between gentle acoustic and balls out rock is about right with 'Starting To Hurt' and 'Gimme A Sign' providing opportunity to get your foot stomping to driving beats and letting Adam's display is voice is as powerful and rasping as it is whispering and hushed. The sting in the tail is the final track 'Jesus (Don't Touch My Baby)' a synth fuelled plea for a friend who was suffering from cancer. It shows that Adams is as versatile as he is talented and we're treated to a blend of styles throughout the course of Demolition. Despite these songs being dragged together from different sessions they all seem to fit well together here as a package. If this is the type of stuff he can knock out as demos then the forthcoming album proper should be simply blistering.

There has been plenty of hype around Ryan Adams but you'd be a fool to overlook him because of that. For once it is richly deserved. Let's just hope he never cheers up.



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On 6th June 2004 at 12:25 Anonymous 2671 wrote...

A modern day bob dylan



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