Being a long term Whiskeytown/Ryan Adams fan, pre-ordering this CD was a no-brainer for me. However, having been one of those in the camp that found Rock 'n' Roll a little too contrived and Love is Hell adorable, but only in small doses, it was a blast to hear just how back on form this new offering is!
I've had the CD almost two weeks now and the only track I haven't warmed to is 'Now that you're gone'. Put it another way, 18 great tracks out of 19. Q Magazine didn't like the album, except for that very track! Oh well, it takes all sorts as they say. A lot of the tracks have that whole building up through the structure of the song as it progresses, a bit like early Springsteen.
One amazing reference point on this album is the Grateful Dead. Some of the lead guitar work on disc two is pure Jerry Garcia circa 1970 - I think someone has been studying the masters! As on Love is Hell, Ryan is taking some of his melodies into Roy Orbison territory, but he does it so well, it works.
All in all, this is a brilliant return to form. If you are a Whiskeytown fan, or a fan of Heartbreaker or Gold - then simply buy this album, you'll love it. If you are a Grateful Dead fan, you're in for a nice surprise. If you're the sort of person who can't stand a pedal steel guitar, then this album might just change your mind once and for all.