It seems like everyone who comments on this album is very negative about Ryan Adams' change of style - bad press is all over the web. Thankfully I didn't read a review before buying it so I wasn't put off. I listened to it in a shop and knew I wanted it within seconds - yes it is immediate but after 50 or so plays I still love it and there's nothing wrong with that!
If you love The Pixies, The Smiths, Oasis, Nirvana and U2 then go and get this. It certainly gives a knowing nod to these great bands, most obviously on Anybody Wanna Take Me Home where it even fades out and back in like The Smiths' Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others. For me, these touches just make it better - you feel like your music taste may be the same as Adams' and you wonder what else he's got that you wish you had.
It's the sort of album that tempts you to blow your car stereo or, even better, pay your neighbours to move out so you can just play it sooooo loud! If you woke up in a holocaust and no one was around you wouldn't be sad - the first thing to hit your mind would be "Hey I can go and play Rock N Roll for a few hours"!
"Luminol" is a seriously buzzing track with guitars that are somehow totally overdriven and yet crystal clear, and then feedback that makes the music feel very "live". The title track "Rock N Roll" is a welcome rest from the firepower that precedes it. It sounds like a demo (just Ryan and piano) that couldn't be improved on so they just threw it in as it stood.
Ryan's voice is beautiful - powerful, sensitive, full of subtle timing nuances, and the occasional unexpected note that makes you "learn" the album. As I said before, there are many bad reviews of this album and they have been written by people who have followed Ryan Adams for years so clearly this record is a big change in direction, and for these reviewers it's something they didn't want to happen. For me - it's just an exciting record that I want other people to hear.