Top positive review
29 people found this helpful
on 1 March 2002
This is the best alt.country, Americana or whatever-it's-called-this-week album. Yes, even better than "Hollywood Town Hall" and "Being There". And "Nixon".
If you like a little country with your rock, and a bit of a pop sensibility, this is for you. Ryan Adams is a great songwriter, and I think this is his best collection. There are cracking honky-tonkin' tunes like "Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart", scorching rockers like "Turn Around" and "Waiting To Derail", and country-pop like the sublime "16 Days". There is also "Houses On The Hill", which is a beautiful, haunting song about wasted (in both senses) lives. A lovely, gentle thing, with a dark heart. The peach, however, has to be "Dancing With The Women At The Bar", an ambivalent and melancholy ode to the siren call of wine, women and song. Terrific stuff.
It's all wonderfully arranged, and the rock and country elements blend very well. It's a more polished item than its predecessor "Faithless Street" (also well worth a listen), but much more country, not to mention varied, than Ryan Adams' recent "Gold" album.
If you like Wilco, the Olson-era Jayhawks, Los Lobos, the Burritos, or even the sountracks to "O Brother Where Art Thou?" and "Down From The Mountain", a wee dram of Whiskeytown may be very much to your taste.