Music We Love: Ryan Adams "Gold"
Since it's music month here at the blog, we've decided to revisit some of our old favorites, in the hopes that our rambling will turn some new fans onto our longtime musical heroes. And since one of my favorite artists of all time is Ryan Adams, and one of my favorite albums of his is 2001's Gold, I am going to talk your ear off about it now.
Gold is Adam's second major solo album, and it's held up incredibly well over time. It's actually kind of crazy to me that it's only 12 years old because it feels like an album that has been around forever. It means as much to me now as it did when I was 14 and hearing it for the first time. (Probably downloaded from Napster, oh god.) Recently I offhandedly tweeted at Ryan Adams and to my surprise, he tweeted back. He also favorited like, 5 of my tweets. It was one of those moments where you're like, "HOLY CRAP, 14-year-old me would have had 15 heart attacks if she had known that 12 years later, Ryan Adams would be using the internet to speak to her personally." Now that I'm older and have more of a grasp on my Feelings, I only had a sensible 10 heart attacks.
But back to Gold. If you don't actively listen to Ryan Adams, there's a chance that, at some point in your life, you've heard one of the songs off this album. The opening track, "New York, New York," is probably the most likely candidate, especially because the video for the song gained a bit of notoriety for being filmed in front of the NYC skyline, 4 days before the September 11 attacks.
While "New York, New York" is a great (and catchy) song, you gotta get deeper than the single of the album. "Gonna Make You Love Me" is as upbeat as "New York, New York," but not as easily recognized, and is one of my favorites off the album. "Wildflowers" is another song that makes the album one of my favorites, even if it's much less upbeat than "Gonna Make You Love Me." The reason I like Gold so much is because it combines these relentlessly upbeat pop songs ("New York, New York," and, to a lesser degree "Answering Bell") with songs that make you feel like pulling a fleece blanket on and staring at the ceiling while a single candle flickers next to you ("La Cienega Just Smiled").
If this little bit of D.R.A. (David Ryan Adams) has sucked you in, make sure you delve into the rest of his discography, especially Love is Hell, specifically the song "English Girls Approximately." TBH, I could go on for hours about Ryan Adams if no one stopped me. He's got a ton, ton, TON of stuff out, so you'll have plenty of songs to explore if you're intrigued by his work. The best way to work through it all is to look at his discography. (And don't forget Whiskeytown, his band before going solo! "Mirror, Mirror" is a fun song to start you off.) While your best bet is to start off with his older stuff and work your way up, there's no wrong way to listen to Adams. He's a tiny and delightfully talented guy. Plus, he's married to Mandy Moore, so you know he's gotta be awesome. —Katie