Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Power Rankings


I love superlatives.  Whenever I like something I call it the best ever, even when I know better.  I don't know why I do it, it's just one of those things. 

But the best songwriter of the past 10 years is Ryan Adams.  While this is a superlative, it isn't along the same lines of my usual "best ever" antics -- e.g. Pauly Shore is the most underrated comedian EVER!!!.*

*I have never actually said or thought this.

In 2000, Adams left Whiskeytown -- an incredibly good alt-country band -- to pursue a solo career.  That year he released "Heartbreaker," his first, and widely considered his best album to date. 

While it is an amazing album, Adam's talent as a song writer grew incredibly during the next 10 years.  He's prolific too.  Since 2000, he has released 13 studio albums and countless collections of B-sides.

From everything I know about Adams, he's an intemperate dude who I probably would not get along with.  Most people that I know who are into music look at Ryan Adams with disdain because of his personality.  I think they just don't get it, but of course they'll argue the same thing about my viewpoint.  

A couple years ago I went to his show and he played for like 45 minutes and then walked off stage.  

It really pissed me off, but he's such a good songwriter that I woke up the day tickets went on sale for his upcoming show so I could get close up seat.  Maybe I'm just a sucker.

It's football season so I'm going to offer up a power rankings of sorts and rank each Ryan Adams album with an explanation on why it's ranked where it is.*

*I am not going to include "Orion," which is his heavy metal album.  Although it's very good and exhibits his diverse talents as a songwriter, it is a sci-fi heavy metal concept album that doesn't really fit within his catalog of mainstream record releases.  It's for die-hards, but I definitely recommend it anyway for, if nothing else the best song titles I have ever seen: "Imminent Galactic War," "Disappyramid," "Ghorgon Master of War," "Electro Snake," etc... 

Without further ado:

#12 "Demolition

Say you took four random songs from the first three Elvis Costello albums and released it as an album.  Sure it'd be good, but it'd be a disjointed mess.  This the problem that plagues "Demolition."






The worst thing about "Demolition" is that it is a franken-album.  It draws from his unreleased albums "The Suicide Handbook," "48 Hours," and "The Pinkheart Sessions."  All of these are pretty good individually.  If "The Suicide Handbook" were an official album release, it may be one of finest official albums.  Instead we're left with "Demolition," which is good, just a strange collection of songs that have no business being grouped together.   




Songs like "Hallelujah" and "Tennessee Sucks" are good stuff, but they don't belong on the same album.  I hate saying this is the worst Ryan Adams album, but it is and it has nothing to do with the songs -- although most selections aren't even among the best tracks from the unreleased albums have to offer.  


Now that we're officially in the Internet age, it's easier, and more worth it, to find bootlegs of the unreleased albums that it draws from.


Both songs I have linked to are not found on "Demolition," because whoever was in charge of picking the songs from "48 Hours" and "The Suicide Handbook" had no clue what they were doing.  Since you can't find them "Demolition," I thought it only fair to include them here.  

5 comments:

  1. I have a similar opinion of "Demolition". At times it made my head hurt. I haven't been following his more recent work, but I might put "Rock and Roll" at the bottom as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wonder if anyone ever confuses him with Bryan Adams?

    ReplyDelete
  3. There's a lot of those people putting albums together that shouldn't be. Just look at most 'best of's.

    ReplyDelete
  4. never heard of that guy but nice info...

    ReplyDelete

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Power Rankings


I love superlatives.  Whenever I like something I call it the best ever, even when I know better.  I don't know why I do it, it's just one of those things. 

But the best songwriter of the past 10 years is Ryan Adams.  While this is a superlative, it isn't along the same lines of my usual "best ever" antics -- e.g. Pauly Shore is the most underrated comedian EVER!!!.*

*I have never actually said or thought this.

In 2000, Adams left Whiskeytown -- an incredibly good alt-country band -- to pursue a solo career.  That year he released "Heartbreaker," his first, and widely considered his best album to date. 

While it is an amazing album, Adam's talent as a song writer grew incredibly during the next 10 years.  He's prolific too.  Since 2000, he has released 13 studio albums and countless collections of B-sides.

From everything I know about Adams, he's an intemperate dude who I probably would not get along with.  Most people that I know who are into music look at Ryan Adams with disdain because of his personality.  I think they just don't get it, but of course they'll argue the same thing about my viewpoint.  

A couple years ago I went to his show and he played for like 45 minutes and then walked off stage.  

It really pissed me off, but he's such a good songwriter that I woke up the day tickets went on sale for his upcoming show so I could get close up seat.  Maybe I'm just a sucker.

It's football season so I'm going to offer up a power rankings of sorts and rank each Ryan Adams album with an explanation on why it's ranked where it is.*

*I am not going to include "Orion," which is his heavy metal album.  Although it's very good and exhibits his diverse talents as a songwriter, it is a sci-fi heavy metal concept album that doesn't really fit within his catalog of mainstream record releases.  It's for die-hards, but I definitely recommend it anyway for, if nothing else the best song titles I have ever seen: "Imminent Galactic War," "Disappyramid," "Ghorgon Master of War," "Electro Snake," etc... 

Without further ado:

#12 "Demolition

Say you took four random songs from the first three Elvis Costello albums and released it as an album.  Sure it'd be good, but it'd be a disjointed mess.  This the problem that plagues "Demolition."






The worst thing about "Demolition" is that it is a franken-album.  It draws from his unreleased albums "The Suicide Handbook," "48 Hours," and "The Pinkheart Sessions."  All of these are pretty good individually.  If "The Suicide Handbook" were an official album release, it may be one of finest official albums.  Instead we're left with "Demolition," which is good, just a strange collection of songs that have no business being grouped together.   




Songs like "Hallelujah" and "Tennessee Sucks" are good stuff, but they don't belong on the same album.  I hate saying this is the worst Ryan Adams album, but it is and it has nothing to do with the songs -- although most selections aren't even among the best tracks from the unreleased albums have to offer.  


Now that we're officially in the Internet age, it's easier, and more worth it, to find bootlegs of the unreleased albums that it draws from.


Both songs I have linked to are not found on "Demolition," because whoever was in charge of picking the songs from "48 Hours" and "The Suicide Handbook" had no clue what they were doing.  Since you can't find them "Demolition," I thought it only fair to include them here.  

5 comments:

  1. I have a similar opinion of "Demolition". At times it made my head hurt. I haven't been following his more recent work, but I might put "Rock and Roll" at the bottom as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I wonder if anyone ever confuses him with Bryan Adams?

    ReplyDelete
  3. There's a lot of those people putting albums together that shouldn't be. Just look at most 'best of's.

    ReplyDelete
  4. never heard of that guy but nice info...

    ReplyDelete