14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Genius, an intelligent rock record.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Rock N Roll (Audio CD)
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.