Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Ryan Adams & the Cardinals 

Jacksonville City Nights

Wednesday, Sep 28 2005
Comments
Admittedly, we washed our hands of Ryan Adams when the antics of the altcountry pinup became as shamelessly precious as his subtly titled sea-change record, Rock N Roll. When he took time away from headline feuds and Hollywood girlfriends to actually make music, it seemed the earnest well that ran beneath his young career was in fact a geyser of half-baked, tossed-off horse pucky. Finally, with Jacksonville City Nights, there's a glint of the Adams we once held dear, not only because of the rhinestone sparkle of early '70s Nashville production (oodles of plucky Telecaster, pedal steel, and fiddle make the record far more C 'n' W than anything previous), but also because it lends the impression that writing songs has again taken priority for Adams over boosting his Q Rating. "Peaceful Valley," "A Kiss Before I Go," and "The End" are some of the best tunes under the songwriter's name in years, and even when he gets silly with the urban cowboy playacting (c'mon, bud, a song called "Pa"?), a shade too adult-contemporary (the Norah Jones duo "Dear John" is like porn for a KOIT program manager), or just plain corny ("Withering Heights"), we'll forgive him. After all, at least it finally sounds like he's trying -- or maybe like he isn't trying so hard.

About The Author

Nate Cavalieri

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"