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A little too Easy Tiger,
This review is from: Easy Tiger (Audio CD)
There's no doubt that `Easy Tiger' is Ryan Adam's most focused album since his debut solo outing, `Heartbreaker'. However, there's also no doubt that much of the ... recklessness that colored his work since has left the album sounding very safe.
This album is similar to 2001's `Gold' in many ways, while also lacking the sprawling self-indulgent ambition (Nobody Girl and Enemy Fire spring to mind). In fact, 'Easy Tiger' apears to pull together the focused elements of his releases since 'Heartbreaker' and in many ways is the album that critics have been waiting for.
The splendid opener, `Goodnight Rose' leaves you yearning for another 2 or 3 minutes of improvised instrumentation and you get the impression that it wouldn't have sounded out of place on 2005's incredible `Cold Roses' (where we would no doubt been treated to a rawer, 6 minute version of the song). Elsewhere, 'Halloween Head' revisits the territory he explored within the largely disappointing Rock N Roll, while 'The Sun Also Sets' could have been found on any of the Love Is Hell discs. However, where some of the material on each of these albums has been messy, these songs are concise and brilliantly constructed.
`Tears of Gold', on the other hand, could well be an orphaned track from Jacksonville City Nights: it's 'contemporary country' feel highlighted by the brilliant playing of backing band The Cardinals.
The sweet melancholy of 'Two' or `Everybody Knows' resists the urge to be overbearing on the listener due to their length. In fact, the same could be said for much of the album, as each of its tracks have an average running time of 3 minutes.
Essentially, despite boasting only Ryan Adams' name, 'Easy Tiger' is the third album from "Ryan Adams & The Cardinals". The song cycle is lean and lacking filler, and the playing exceptional. However, there's a feeling of disinterest from the efficiency of the performances.
The overall feel of `Easy Tiger' is ... well, easy. Although the albums songs are tight and concise, it's the `recklessness' of Adams' work that make it so endearing, leaving the album sounding quite tame.
There are some very fine songs, but on first listen only 3 or 4 actually stand out. Fortunately, I discovered that the album offers more after several listens.