57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
A Modern Classic,
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This review is from: Gold (Audio CD)
Gold came out in the late summer of 2001. The opening track, "New York New York," became something of a rallying cry for me (and other New Yorkers and Americans) after 9/11, even though the song-- as one colleague described it, "Tangled Up in Blue" played fast-- is about a girl, not a city. (Adams sometimes writes about a girl by using the name of a city he associates with her; see also, "Dear Chicago.") But the very fact that this tune evoked the familiar Dylan song is precisely what makes this work so compelling and timeless.
OK, so given the timing, that tune sucked me into the record, in a very visceral way. But the whole thing had masterpiece written all over it from the very first spin at my home in September of 2001. As my wife so aptly said, "It has that sweet familliar ring of every album you ever loved as a kid." Which, if you are our age, means it feels like Van Morrison, Neil Young, Dylan, Exile-era Stones, like that. It hits you in that "Into the Mystic," "Brown Sugar," "Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" place. Do you like that place? Yeah, me too.
Adams is so prolific an artist that he is generally an album or two ahead of his fans; by February of 2001 he was playing these rockers to rooms full of alt.country romantics who wanted to moon with him over the Heartbreaker songs. But now, four years on, "New York New York," "Answering Bell," "Stars Go Blue," and "Rescue Blues" sound like songs you've known all your life, and are warmly greeted in concert as the masterworks they are.
Adams is a polarizing figure; people tend to have strong opinions toward him, either way. I obviously lean toward the "love everything he touches" camp. But divorced from the public persona, the music on this disc stands up to the closest scrutiny, taps into a classic vein defined by the artists listed above (and more recently, by Lucinda Williams and Counting Crows). I hate to compare one artist to others, but I find it a helpful construct in providing buying advice; its the "recommended if you like..." concept. If you've read this far, I think you know whether you want to buy this or not.
If not, I'll add that if I were to suggest a single title to someone interested in getting their ears wet with Adams, this would be the one. I think you can find traces of every direction he's gone in, before and since, on this album. It is long (70 minutes or so), but in a sweeping sort of way; I can listen to it all the way through and not find a single song I want to cut.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 15, 2009 3:55:05 PM PDT
OH Packerfan says:
I was going to write a review, but this is better than anything I could have written. And I am vain enough to think myself a pretty good writer.
Posted on Dec 2, 2009 8:58:51 AM PST
K. Ward says:
Such a great writer, his songs feel like old friends after just a few listens. Then the best part they dont just fade away like some pop music, instead they seem to get even better with time. His writing reminds me a young Springsteen, not in style or sound, but in just doing whatever he loves.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 28, 2009 8:28:30 AM PST
J. Chasin says:
Thank you. You're too kind.
Posted on Apr 14, 2011 7:15:40 PM PDT
john oconnor says:
I have now read this review three or for times and I say it rings so true. Well done and cheers!
Posted on Sep 19, 2013 9:32:16 AM PDT
Your wife has great taste.
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