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18 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Continuing return to form' not needed
How tedious it is becoming to read yet another review of material by Ryan Adams which suggests that he is overrated or sporting the emperor's new clothes. Cold Roses was hailed as 'a return to form' by the music press in general. Okay, 'Rock'n'Roll' was a misguided venture, but 'Love Is Hell', 'Demolition', 'Gold' and 'Heartbreaker' hardly suggested that a return to form...
Published on 27 Sep 2005 by chapelhat-pegs

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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Far from his best
This is in no way a five star album. This is the worst album that RA has produced. I am a huge fan and I was bitterly disappointed when I heard his latest offering. This is a far cry from his brilliant Gold and Love Is Hell, and it appears that working with the Cardinals has made him produce another below par MOR record, just like Cold Roses, released earlier this year...
Published on 29 Sep 2005 by scottlaughton


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Continuing return to form' not needed, 27 Sep 2005
This review is from: Jacksonville City Nights (Audio CD)
How tedious it is becoming to read yet another review of material by Ryan Adams which suggests that he is overrated or sporting the emperor's new clothes. Cold Roses was hailed as 'a return to form' by the music press in general. Okay, 'Rock'n'Roll' was a misguided venture, but 'Love Is Hell', 'Demolition', 'Gold' and 'Heartbreaker' hardly suggested that a return to form was required. 'Cold Roses' was excellent and so is 'Jacksonville City Nights'. More country flavoured, it has echoes of 'Heartbreaker' shot through it, and is a seriously affecting piece of work, worth the entrance fee for 'Always On My Mind' alone. I have read a number of ungracious reviews of this album, and would recommend that potential purchasers are not put off by them. Too much criticism of Ryan Adams confuses the quality of his output with the opinions he expresses. Bob Dylan loved to provoke the press in the sixties, but 40 years later he is now accorded the status of a genius. Ignore the carping, do yourself a favour and buy this lovely album.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, but a strong effort., 1 Jan 2007
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This review is from: Jacksonville City Nights (Audio CD)
In 2005, Ryan Adams took his prolific nature to its limit - and subsequently drained himself for 2006, reduced to shoving a ton of drunken, sub-one-minute demos onto his website - by releasing four studio albums (two singles, one double) in one year. Jacksonville City Nights was the second part, his second album with new (sort of) solid backing group The Cardinals, and after the thrashy Rock 'n' Roll and the sprawling depression of Love Is Hell, it sees him returning to alt-country.

The results are patchy. Unsurprisingly for a man who released around 50 songs in 2005, quality control is somewhat lacking on Jacksonville City Nights, and there are some horrifying vocal turns in places, including one in the closing overs of 'The End' that very nearly ruins the song. His vocal stylings throughout the album seem to be Adams trying far too hard to fit into the country motifs his band are providing, and it often feels forced.

However, elsewhere, Jacksonville City Nights really shines with some of the gems of Adams' catalogue. It's mostly the waltzy, closing-time ballads which make this record so good - the whole album has the feel of Adams, scraggly beard and hair, sitting at a battered upright piano in a smokey bar with a blues band behind him. 'The End' is good, but even better songs lie elsewhere; the punning of 'Withering Heights'; the shuddering lap-steel guitars of slight opener 'A Kiss Before I Go'; the dual vocals of 'Dear John'; the lovely, stop-start 'Don't Fail Me Now'; and most importantly, the stunning, string laden UK bonus tracks 'Jeane' and particularly 'Always On My Mind.'

Cut down to maybe ten songs, this album could be a brief, beautiful diamond in Adams' catalogue. Taking the best songs from this and his other 2005 releases, you could've made a truly extraordinary album. In the meantime, occasionally wavering vocals - and a huge sag in the middle third of the record - are not nearly enough to stop you from buying the mostly gorgeous album of blunt, heartbreaking country numbers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good - be patient if not instant for you, 2 May 2007
This review is from: Jacksonville City Nights (Audio CD)
What a great album - go in with a completely open mind - Adams fans and those not so familiar alike - this is a fantastic album, feels really natural - not over polished, full band, you can hear (if you try hard enough) the (very infrequent) bum note or pop as a mic stand has been hit etc. The songs are fantastic, some instant, most you get the reward after several listens. Probably my favourite Ryan album at this moment. The Norah Jones duet is great, although I sometimes wonder if it fits with the rest of the albums feeling (?) My highlights would be The End, Pa, Wuthering Heights and Peaceful Valley - which sounds very "Cold Roses" in comparison with the rest of the album. If I had to describe this album in 3 words it would be beautiful, sweaty and oldschool (one word for review purposes). Enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a grower, 25 April 2007
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This review is from: Jacksonville City Nights (Audio CD)
took a while to get into this album.
was initially dissapointed.
thought it was too country for my liking.
some of the songs sounded unfinished/rushed.
but after a while it has really grown on me.
just like most of his stuff it takes a while to really get how good it is.
when i first got into adams around gold, i though he was good.
since then ive came to believe hes a genius.
its just that his stuff takes time to really get under your skin, thats probably why hes not massive, most people wont give his music the time it needs. after all thats the way i was. thought gold was good and heartbreaker was ok.
but after a while i realised how great they both were.
not the best place to start and possibly for adams fans only, hence only 4 stars, rather then 5.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Less of the Alt. More of the Country, 17 Oct 2005
By 
Graeme Wright "book worm" (salford) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Just like buses Ryan Adams albums have a habit of turning up in groups - this is the second of three planned releases this year - and, also like buses, the quality does vary. Any reader who remembers the contractual obligation of Rock'n'Roll a few years back and compares it to the casual easiness of the Love Is Hell 2 e.p. will surely agree.
Ryan Adams has come a long way since those record company threatening days and is now content to give his public exactly what they want: well written, pleasant and non controversial songs in the style of Whiskeytown. And that is what Jacksonville City Nights delivers with relish.
From the opening track 'A Kiss Before I Go' to the bonus finality of 'Always On My Mind' Ryan and the Cardinals add layer upon layer of pedal steel guitar and violin to emphasise the point that this is an artist in his maturity reflecting on wilder times and the home comforts forsaken for them. Many of the songs on the album - The End, The Hardest Part, September and PA among the cream - inform us of memories and family events, of troubles and victories with a frankness that recalls the very best of early Neil Young or post 'The River' Springsteen. The nearest of Adams' contemporaries who comes close to such honesty is Richmond Fontaine and there is a similar narrative running through this album to the latter's The Fitzgerald.
Jacksonville City Nights, then, finds Adams seemingly content with his lot and secure enough to explore his past with clarity and openness. We can but hope for more of the same on future albums.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 25 Jan 2008
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This review is from: Jacksonville City Nights (Audio CD)
How can a guy this young write songs this good? The depth on this album is extraordinary with songs that have the wistful quality of Whiskeytown but with the hallmark of Ryan Adams out on his own.
Songs like Dear John, Silver Bullets & September should be receiving literary awards, never mind being song lyrics.
This album may be a little melancholy for some, but like the previous review drawing comparisons with Richmond Fontaine, if you are okay with that, this is an essential album.
Warning - It isn't an instant fix. If you are after instant catchy Ryan Adams pop tunes, this might be too much work for you. It'll take a few plays, but believe me, it'll be worth it.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Genius again, 10 Oct 2005
This review is from: Jacksonville City Nights (Audio CD)
I didn't like Cold Roses much but this is great. The country tinge is lovely and the sound is much more like how I like Ryan Adams to sound like - it's more similar to solo stuff. There's one filler for me (Peaceful Valley) which is a return to Cold Roses but the rest are sound, with some stand-out tracks - Dear John, Pa, Withering Heights and the awesome and tragically sad You Were Always On My Mind cover on the bonus tracks edition. No problem this being worth the money!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Brilliant Album, 26 Sep 2005
This review is from: Jacksonville City Nights (Audio CD)
Ryan Adams has done it again, releasing another amazing album. Is there anything he can't do? This is definately the most country sounding album he has released since Whiskey Town (probably since the faithless street album). Its a must have for any Adams fan and anyone who has a serious interest in music, he is easily the best solo artist of our time. Not many artisits have released 2 brilliant albums in the space of one year and set a release date for a third later this year! Can't wait to hear his next. Until then I guess I'll just have to keep listening to his already amazing back catalogue of albums and bootlegs.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Seriously Love this Album, 6 Feb 2013
This review is from: Jacksonville City Nights (Audio CD)
The opening 2 Tracks opens the door to a great album
Music is like anything, is a matter of opinion, he is
Neil Young Gram Parsons a sprinkle of Bob Dylan
mixed in with a bowl full of Ryan Adams, he stretches
his voice around each song and the Cardinals are a
what the Hot Band are To Emmylou H, Superb!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Takes its Time..., 21 July 2010
This review is from: Jacksonville City Nights (Audio CD)
You have to be prepared to hang in there a bit with this one. At first listen the songs appear standard offerings, but after a while you start to notice the subtleties and nuances at work and the depth of the writing. The Cardinals are brilliant musicians and the perfect foil for Ryan's voice. Silver Bullets is a fave of mine - a self destructive relationship terminates, and is brought home with the resignation of the opening line "Go and get the gun 'cause its only getting worse". The Dear John duet with Norah Jones is intricate and beautiful - other highlights for me are Hard Way to Fall (heartfelt and sensitive), Peaceful Valley and Kiss Before I Go. Get the extra tracks CD with Always on My Mind- its a stunning version - Ryan packs real emotion into a well worn song, and the strings reallly work well. Could have been shorn of a track here and there, then again a few gems showcase the man at his best.
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Jacksonville City Nights
Jacksonville City Nights by Ryan Adams (Audio CD - 2005)
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