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3.9 out of 5 stars49
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 9 May 2004
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.
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on 8 May 2007
I swear the amazon guy who wrote the review read my mind.....!! Exactly what i was going to say - Yes its not Adams finest work - but too many people expect these good singer songwriters to consistantly top what they did last time - losing the appreciation of what they have actually accomplished.

Yes it is true that if you are a music purist - you may not enjoy this as it is not adams writing his 'own' music - yes he did write it but with a deliberate attempt to sound like other bands - tribute or not - they do sound like Oasis, U2 Strokes, Green day - and 1974 which sounds awfully like the Stooges '1969'.

It is more accessible than his lat rock stuff - and just as enjoyable - just buy it and appreciate it is not the album of his career but listen to some damn good popular rock....
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on 4 November 2003
First of all, don't expect rock N roll to be similar in musical style to anything he has done before. None of the delicate mysterious whisper of heartbreaker, none of the sweet country melody of gold. However, he has already made these records, why would he want to do them again.
Before you start shouting "traitor" and begin to call for the end of his career, you must realise that what still remains is the great songwriting and the it factor. Ryan is not and has never been doing anything different to anyone else. So why does he have such a following? What he has, is the ability to make us believe in a song. Whatever the weather.
His record company, one famous for releasing fairly popular mainstream country rock, rejected ryan's proper follow up to gold for being "too dark." Having heard love is hell, it was probably a mistake not to release it, as it is probably his best work, even surpassing Heartbreaker. Therefore, Ryan had to please the company.
He set out to rock and that is exactly what he has done. He has not made a record about himself but about his record collection. Dont expect particularly clever lyrics or anything orginal-(what is these days?). I mean he calls the album Rock n roll, and calls songs "shallow" and note to self: don't die. Its hardly as though he was trying to be clever, however, this is exactly how he is being clever. He knew people would look furthr into it than face value which is why he tried to be so obvious.
This is good old fashioned fun. Designed to be played loudly and not thought about particulary hard. Of course Ryan adds some clever touches- the title is actually spelt backwords- llor N kcor, and the only track which isnt straight up rock N roll is actually called Rock N roll. Irony? Surely not?
"Shallow" is ryan doing oasis's cigarettes and alcohol. "So Alive" is a majestic U2/ Jeff Buckley epic. One of the greatest songs of the year- it just soars. Other favourites are "luminol", "burning photographs", and "anybody want to take me home". The latter could be mistaken for the greatest song the smiths never wrote.
There are a few filler tracks, but they still have their merits. The record is also a grower, dont expect to be hit immediately by the swing of it. The record is definitely a tribute to all of ryans influences. He is having fun at the expense of his record company.
Different to anything he has ever done. He has had some bad reviews about this because everybody wanted another Heartbreaker. They claim he is hiding from himself behind gimmiks. If you want something better than heartbreaker look at love is hell. That shows what ryan really wanted to put out. Now we are the ones who win, as we get love is hell and Rock N roll. The fact that he can take on any genre in any style and succeed, really highlights his genius and shows us he is really the greatest songwriter of his generation.
Have fun.
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on 19 September 2004
Although this album may have been released to get his record label off his back, it ain't bad at all! I believe that some people need a reality check! This album has been slated, mainly by fans of Ryan Adams early solo work, especially 'Heartbreaker' and his work with 'Whiskeytown' (both excellent). I feel that this album shows his ability to express himself differently and effectively, stressing his skill as a musician. Adams has also spoken about how fun this album was to record (checkout [...] for 30 minute interview with Ryan Adams). It has given him the opportunity to pay tribute to artists which he admires for example The Smiths, Oasis and The Strokes. 'So Alive', the big single from this album sees Adams singing at times in a fashion which is not too dissimilar to Morrissey. My favourite two songs are 'Luminol' and 'Burning Photographs'. Don't be misguided this is a very good album which simply shows a different dimension to Ryan Adams and his music. Also checkout 'Gold' and 'Demolition', as well as work by his good friend Jesse Malin.
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on 9 March 2005
And modern Rock 'n Roll it is, in a pack of fourteen songs giving you just the energy you need.
Those who are delighted by his gentle solo debut album Heartbreaker can be (a little) disappointed by this record. Those who liked the song 'Enemy fire' from his previous record 'Gold' definitely have to check out this record.
Sometimes you need music to give you a explosion of energy. This album provides that in a way you want to hear the record more often then only sometimes! The record: It rocks, it rolls, it moarns, with sometimes a touch of punk or psychodelica. Ryan Adams shows his (song writing) capability for showing some of his musical influences without copying his musical influences. In high speed, Adams leads you through the world of modern Rock 'n Roll with a lot of grooving en refreshing guitar riffs, completed by rough and raw vocals.
"This is it" could have been written by the Strokes? Maybe, but I hear an up tempo great rock and roll song with the right drive. Ryan sings the song partly with a breaking, cracking voice, especially in the first lyric. He sings it like you want to scrape your own voice.
One of my album favourite tracks "Burning Photograph" contains very well guitar playing, using the echo technique. Great groove in this track.
A touch of humour in the tittle track. You would expect the greatest of the greatest modern rock and roll song, but you will be surprised: it's a gentle and softly piano based and scared sung song containing the line "Everybody's cool playing rock and roll. I don't feel cool at all." In this short song Adams gives us with only a few words us a picture of somebody not feeling that confident. Album closer and bonus track 'Hypnotised': great!
Rock 'n Roll: here you have an ideal pumping on your stereo driving record.
Rock 'n Roll: It's rough, it's tough - but honest. FRESH!
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on 13 April 2006
I felt compelled to write my own review of this album. I was tired of reading reviews where people were saying how this is a rubbish album when I believe they couldn't be farther from the truth. This album alone just proves that Mr Adams can do almost anything he feels like and the end result is still better than most music that's in the charts at the minute. I would definitely recommend it. It's just upbeat rock, fair enough it isn't really the alt country that he's been used to but everyone likes a change every once in a while. Don't they? This album is just what he thought he'd like to try out and the end result just simply rocks - especially the track 1974.

Definitely recomended to any open-minded Ryan Adams fans.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 June 2013
'Rock N Roll', Ryan Adams' fourth album was, in his words: "the most rock thing I have ever done". I would go certainly along with that, and although it might have lacked the variety of his previous albums, the whole CD looked like a good new direction. The end result was a pure unfiltered rock record, with some great melodies. Ryan;s vocals on this album had never sounded so raw and powerful, and his guitar work had rarely been as good.

This is a straight forward rock album, with literally every track a winner. You can tell instantly upon hearing the opening song 'This Is It' that Ryan was listening to The Strokes a lot at the time (borrowing the title of the band's debut album for this track), and 'So Alive' could easily have been mistaken for a then latest U2 single, as there are many similarities in both the way it is played and sung.

I know that Ryan has recorded stronger albums since this 2003 highlight (see 2007's Easy Tiger), but 'Rock N Roll' was one of his most 'different' at the time, and is still a definite hightlight in his vast musical catalogue. Ignore any negative reviews you might read and just buy it!
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on 26 September 2008
Hearing this album for the first time five years after its release leads to the conclusion that its poor reception at the time had more to do with its failure to be Heartbreaker 2 and critics getting fed up with Adams relentless opinionated self-promotion. In fact Rock n Roll does exactly what it says on the can. Recorded in two weeks when Lost Highway refused to release Love Is Hell (not commercially viable) this is the sound of Adams sticking up two fingers to his label. That it is an ironic pastiche doesn't mean that it's not good, and in some cases better than the source of inspiration. Neither does it mean that it's not recognisably, characteristically Ryan Adams. 'This Is It' opens the album a response to The Strokes, muscling in on their territory, and like every other song here says: look at me, I can do this too and I can do it better than you'. It's brash, cocky and insecure but criticising it for a lack of sincerity surely misses the point. Rock N Roll may fall short of the classic status that Adams so craves, but it's still a great listen.
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on 5 February 2004
This is the first Ryan Adams album i have listened to and sure shallow sounds like an early oasis song and yes the forthcoming single "this is it" sounds like the strokes and yes so alive the first single sounds like it was written by bono and co does not bother me this record can compare with the multi platinum selling oasis,u2 and the strokes and would advise any one who likes alt-country or rock and roll its-self to try!
look out for the tracks "so alive" "do miss America", "boys" and the sad but uplifting “rock ‘n’ roll”
a fantastic effort from Mr.Admas to rival his “gold” L.P
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on 23 August 2009
Have loved Ryan Adams for a good few tears now, this is an excellent cd consisting of some his most rockier songs. If you see this cd in the "Country" section move it to the "Rock"
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