Downloading now. It was on my radar (I feel like I've seen you or others post about it a good deal in Adams discussions), but I'll just skip to it now.
Been listening to Dirty Three's Horse Stories, per your recommendation, just by the way. Amazing stuff.
Yeah, I've raved about it pretty extensively. Haha. It's one of my favorite albums of the aughts. Also, make sure you grab Side 4 of Gold
. The released version is missing the final quarter of the album (it was originally planned as a double, but Lost Highway sawed off the last five songs and condensed it to a single disc to save money). And even though "Goodnight Hollywood Blvd." works well as the de facto closer, the combination of "The Bar is a Beautiful Place" and "Cannonball Days" is the lavish conclusion that record feels built toward.
Glad you're enjoying it, man. Beautiful album.
Ironically, what turns me off is the same thing that caused it to be so well-received by a lot of reviewers: it lacks the erratic, spontaneous unorthodoxy of his previous work. Which, to me, is a big part of what makes those records so special. Each of them--even the much-maligned duo of Cardinology
and Rock 'N' Roll
--has enough unpredictable twists and turns and such an unconventional methodology behind them that they feel very uniquely Ryan Adams. Ashes
doesn't. It's reined-in, smoothed-over and all too typical of standard singer/songwriter fare. I think the songs are all of a certain quality, and occasionally stellar ("Dirty Rain"), but they lack that singular, off-kilter creative spark that makes him such a distinctive artist. I wouldn't say I dislike
the album, but for me, it's often inoffensive to the point of being mundane.
That's just me, though. I know you and a lot of other folks disagree.