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Ryan Adams – Big Colors

June 27, 2021

In a recent post I forgave Ryan Adams and I am back to being a fan. I have come to accept that I can like the art and not the artist. Big Colors is not typical Ryan, it sounds like him, but a different sound. Per a Ryan Adams quote I saw in Rolling Stone:

Big Colors was created as a 1980s soundtrack to a movie that never existed.Wednesdays was a study of decline and morality; Big Colors is meant to feel like a daydream. New York, where this album was written, always propels me into new, unexpected creative spaces and this album happened to me, more than I can say I happened to it.”

It does have an 80s vibe, invoking a careful curated 80s jukebox. I hear traces of Roxy Music, The Smiths & Morrissey, R.E.M. and without irony 38 Special (on “Middle Of The Line”). And there is a few hints of classic Ryan Adams. It is a remarkable juxtaposition of songs that really work together. I can definitely imagine some of these songs in a cheesy 80s movie where the soundtrack is better than the movie.

As I noted in a recent post, Adams was planning to release three albums in 2019. Those were shelved due to scandal. In December 2020 Adams released one of the three and now has released the second of the three. From what I see online he has rearranged the song placements of the three and both Wednesdays and Big Colors are not the original albums that would have been released in 2019.

The simple review is, I dig this album. I like that is not the typical Ryan Adams Americana. It is obviously him, but in some different moods. I am instantly hooked on it, whereas Wednesdays took awhile to sink in. For now I prefer Big Colors to Wednesdays, but that can change with time.

From → Music Reviews

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