Song of the Day #3,599: ‘Goodnight Rose’ – Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams has released 16 albums in the past 17 years. He once went three years without releasing an album, but he had already made up for that by releasing three albums in a single year.

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.

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Song of the Day #2,730: ‘Blank Space’ – Ryan Adams

ryan_adams_1989Best Songs of 2015 – #12
‘Blank Space’ – Ryan Adams

When I reviewed Ryan Adams’ song-for-song recreation of Taylor Swift’s smash hit 1989, I predicted that ‘Blank Space’ would end up on my best-of song list two years in a row by two different artists. Good call.

Adams turns the track into a gentle, breathy ballad, sad where Swift’s (also excellent) version is slightly taunting.

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Song of the Day #2,678: ‘Nuclear’ – Ryan Adams

ryan_adams_demolitionOver the next few weeks I’ll dive into the next installment of an occasional series here at Meet Me in Montauk, where I focus on a single year and post songs from both my favorite albums and the acclaimed albums I’ve never heard.

I started this series with 1972 (my birth year) and subsequently covered 1982 and 1992. Now I jump ahead another decade to 2002, a year after the 9/11 attacks, the year I turned 30, the year my first daughter was born.

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Song of the Day #2,639: ‘How You Get the Girl’ – Ryan Adams

ryan_adams_1989The most unexpected new release this year has to be Ryan Adams’ song-for-song cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989. It’s such a delightfully random project, like a piece of fan fiction come to life.

It also turns out to be a very good album in its own right. Adams is faithful to the melodies and lyrics of Swift’s originals but gives each his own stylistic spin, mostly slowing them down and trading pop rock for folk rock.

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Song of the Day #2,516: ‘The Drugs Not Working’ – Ryan Adams

ryan_adams_rock_rollRyan Adams has averaged an album per year since his 2000 solo debut, Heartbreaker (before that, he released a trio of albums with Whiskeytown).

I’m only familiar with a handful of those records, and I definitely have a preference for his alt-country work, including Heartbreaker and the albums he recorded with The Cardinals.

I’m also a big fan of the more rock-focused Gold, probably his best album.

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Song of the Day #2,483: ‘Summer of ’69 (Live)’ – Ryan Adams

ryan_adams_summerThe Ryan Adams ‘Summer of ’69’ incident is not as storied as Bob Dylan’s “Judas!” moment, but in the annals of moderately famous alt-country singer-songwriters, it’s reasonably well-known.

Playing at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville 12 years ago, Ryan Adams was heckled by a concertgoer repeatedly asking him to play ‘Summer of ’69,’ which is of course a Bryan Adams song.

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Song of the Day #2,362: ‘The Sun Also Sets’ – Ryan Adams

ryan_adamsPretty 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.

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