Of all those releases, the two I know best — the only two I know well, really — are the first two. 2000’s Heartbreaker and 2001’s Gold are both excellent, wide-ranging works and among my favorite records of that decade. In fact, it just struck me that I somehow missed that Heartbreaker was a 2000 release or else it surely would have made my personal best-of list.
Pretty much every Ryan Adams song from his mellow, acoustic, alt-country phase is a good listen. They’re not all mind-blowing (though a few are) but you can’t go wrong putting them on in the background while you go about your daily life.
I feel the opposite about his harder-edged albums, which sound more like noise than music. Is it just that he’s really good at the one and not so good at the other? Or maybe it’s just my tastes.