Friday, August 17, 2012

Album Review: Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger

After the (at times brilliant) three album madness of 2005, Ryan Adams returned with the more straightforward Easy Tiger.  There are a couple of overblown rockers (Goodnight Rose, Halloween Head) which don’t help matters.  Equally off-putting is the hokey country of Tears of Gold.  However he’s better when he slows it down and plays it simple.  The rather bland Two (a duet with Sheryl Crow – edgy!) and Two Hearts are an improvement, but there are stronger tracks on the album.
Everybody Knows is a ringer for Neil Young in his acoustic, After the Gold Rush period.  It’s perfectly executed and all over in two and a half minutes.  The leisurely guitar picking of Oh My God Whatever, Etc works well, as does the bluegrassy Pearls On A String.  Finest song on the album is possibly piano ballad, Rip Off, a weary and worn-out ballad. 
He trawls back to his vast, unreleased tracks in the vault for two of the stronger tracks for wistful ballad Off Broadway and the drawling guitar plucking of These Girls (previously known as Hey There Mrs Lovely). 
It's not a classic Ryan Adams album, but it IS a typical Ryan Adams album: some great tracks, some bland tracks and some frustrating tracks.  The killer with Adams is he is capable of real brilliance, but an inability to stay focused dilutes his talent.