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4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 4 July 2007
Ryan Adams is nothing if not prolific. Nine studio albums in seven years is no mean feat.

Unfortunately, an almost natural by-product of this has tended to be a fair bit of filler being injected into at least four of the nine, turning what would otherwise be great into something that is 'just' very good. Thankfully, only one such track here - "Pearls On A String" - slips into this category.

The album title reflects Adams' slow-down and perhaps signifies a cleaner, sober artist whose creativity and talent can be fully realised. Similarly, "I Taught Myself How To Grow Old" reflects the more mature, stable feel to this collection. Both are positive steps towards the 'perfect' Ryan Adams album fans have been hankering after.
Previous releases have flitted between genres ranging from straight country to alt-country right through to straight rock 'n' roll. Here, styles seem to converge and we have a collection that is eclectic yet at the same time solid and mature.

A number of standout tracks ("Tears Of Gold", "Two", "The Sun Also Sets" and "I Taught Myself How To Grow Old") are achingly beautiful and feel well-balanced alongside bouncy indie anthems such as "Halloween Head". His voice is versatile enough to allow him to sound at home with both tear-jerking ballads and livelier tracks and sounds the best it has on any Adams release to date.

He is edging ever-closer to releasing something truly exceptional and this is as close as he has come to delivering on that promise made following his 2000 debut, Heartbreaker.
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on 13 June 2007
Apparently clean and sober, Ryan delivers his most coherent album since Gold. Not to say his other albums haven't had their moments. On the contrary, there have been stunning moments on all of his post-Gold albums, but this one just hangs together better as a whole.

Backed by The Cardinals again, there is a strong Neil Young vibe throughout the album. Which is, of course a splendid thing. Having apparently taken the last year off to take stock, and get sober, he has returned fitter, stronger, not trying so hard, therefore sounding more natural and comfortable with himself.

It's good to have this old trooper back (seems he's been around forever). The musical landscape has changed somewhat, with The Hold Steady, Cold War Kids and Wilco (still) flying the flag for 'Americana'. Let's hope the world hasn't grown weary of Ryan's stellar talents and moved on, impatiently waiting for the classic follow-up to Gold and Heartbreaker. God knows, on this form, and newly rejuvinated, we need him.

Welcome back sunshine!
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on 20 June 2007
Nine albums. Seven years. Not bad going at all is it? Some people would have you think that Ryan Adams' post Whiskeytown career is full of inconsistencies and that he's never quite hit the heights of his 2000 debut Heartbreaker. They'd be wrong. Oh so wrong. Rock N Roll aside (we'll pretend that one doesn't exist, Ryan's tongue was firmly in cheek there) the problem hasn't been down to inconsistency, its been down to having too much material, too many ideas and at times being a little self-indulgent. The question is, had he been focused enough this time around?

The initial signs were good. Having been a drug addict for the majority of his life, Easy Tiger is his first `clean' album. Kicking drugs and alcohol over a year ago Adams has thrown himself into the comfortable confines of backing band The Cardinals, and even though its Ryan Adams' name on the front cover its obviously a full band effort. The production is slick, the arrangements are short and concise and Adams' voice is at a career high. Most importantly though, Easy Tiger has everything that a Ryan Adams album should have. The lilting pedal steel infused country of Goodnight Rose, the rich harmonies of Tears Of Gold and the love lorn acoustic balladry of Oh My God, Whatever, Etc its all here, its all totally focused and delivered with a passion that makes Adams one of the most important and vital songwriters of his generation. One puzzling thing about the album is that it features a couple of songs that are at least six years old. As good as Off Broadway and These Girls are, I can't help but feel a little short changed. Both these songs are available elsewhere in Adams' vast collection of bootlegs which makes me wonder if there's actually any point in re-recording them? Especially when his live song cannon boasts such fantastic and, as yet, unrecorded songs that could have easily slid onto this record. It's a minor complaint though, old songs or not, they fit in with the flow of the record perfectly.

The constant shifts in style on the album keep you enthralled from start to finish. The rock `n roll stomp of Halloween Head really shouldn't work. On first listen the goof ball lyrics and cheesy chord changes make you question whether the song is actually taking the piss or not. It places Adams in 80's rock mode, but the soaring lyrics on display put pay to any doubts about the track and it turns out to be one of the finest rock songs he has ever written, regardless of the lyrical content. On a totally different tangent is Pearls On A String which sounds like a traditional country lament that could have been recorded in another era.

So with all the shifts in genre and mood, why does the album work so well? The answer is simply in its delivery. Live, these songs sprawl with improvised jams akin to The Grateful Dead but on record everything is slimmed down, no junk, no meandering, just clear and focused songwriting. As brilliant as Love Is Hell, Cold Roses or Jacksonville City Nights were they were also a little bloated, a little too long. What we have with Easy Tiger is an amalgamation of all his past work, repackaged and condensed into a perfectly formed and easy to swallow 38 minute mouthful. A career high? Easy Tiger.

Richard Thane

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When Adams admitted in 2007 that he had endured "an extended period of substance abuse" that ended in 2006 including snorting a cocktail of heroin and cocaine, I must admit that I wasn't entirely surprised. I had been puzzled at Ryan's insistence at releasing no less than three studio albums in 2005, all of which were a little underwhelming and had diluted the quality of his music so much that I bought 'Easy Tiger' with a slight reluctance and only because it had received so much good press and positive reviews from critics and fans alike.

When I first put the CD into my player and pressed play, I heard 'Goodnight Rose' and had a sinking feeling. Yet another unremarkable Ryan Adams song which was good enough, but nothing near the heights reached by 'Heartbreaker' and 'Gold'. Listening on, however, I was delighted to discover that 'Easy Tiger' is, indeed, Ryan's best album since 2001's brilliant (if slightly bloated) 'Gold'. The drug & excess themed 'Two', the magnificent acoustic country/rock ballad 'Everybody Knows' and the weary, harmonica-driven coming of age song 'I Taught Myself How To Get Old' are excellent songs and easily the best three tracks on the album. Those, coupled with the catchy indie singalong 'Halloweenhead', the gentle country toe-tapper 'Two Hearts' and the bare bones vocal/guitar pairing of 'These Girls' make for an album full of more highs that Ryan has produced for a long time.

I am very glad I decided to take a gamble on 'Easy Tiger', despite Ryan's recent inconsitencies caused by the excesses of his lifestyle. The clean, focused but evidently still troubled Ryan sounds a hell of a lot better than the one reliant on drugs to function. Who'd have guessed?
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on 27 June 2007
After listening with astonishment to the material released on his website this last two years, a proper album is a welcome treat. Appearing at times like a look back at where he has been and a portent of the future, Easy Tiger is as accessible as Gold and as poetic as Heartbreaker or Cold Roses. Halloween Head is catchy and rocking, the addition of Sheryl Crow into Two rises an already great song to another level, and I Taught Myself to Grow Old is one of the best things Ryan has ever recorded. The album doesn't feel like the contractual obligation many believed it to be and his vocals seem to be only getting better, fitting the passion and anger of the lyrics. This should tide me over until the proposed boxset of unreleased albums later this year.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 July 2013
2007's 'Easy Tiger' is easily one of Ryan Adams' most commercially appealing and consistently enjoyable albums. As soon as I heard 'Halloween Head' on the radio all those years ago, with it's well written lyrics and catchy-as-hell hook, it only confirmed what I already knew, that Ryan was must surely be considered one of the saviours of modern music.

The whole album has something for every fan to enjoy, quality production, Ryan at his best vocally, and well crafted, well written, clever, storytelling songs to capture every mood. It does lack some of the more 'poppy' and slightly upbeat tracks that are included on his past release's like 'Gold', but 'Easy Tiger' doesn't need them, the whole record has a good flow to it, and it isn't a struggle to listen to every song without skipping one.

'Halloween Head' is the first Ryan Adams song I heard, therefore it will always be special to me and remain my favourite tune on the album. But other classics include 'Two', with it's lyrics evidently covering bad past experiences, pain, and self-loathing, 'Goodnight Rose' is a sweet opener, and the slow 'Everybody Knows' is beautiful, I think it's a song that everyone can relate to because we are all familiar with the emotions which are felt during one-sided relationships.

'Easy Tiger' is a CD that will soon become a favourite, but it's just what you'd expect from a man who I regard as one of the most consistently talented singer/songwriters of his generation - it's just an excellent record.
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VINE VOICEon 22 June 2007
After the barrage of 3 albums in 2005, Ryan Adams returns with his ninth studio album, Easy Tiger. The album is slick, with similar production to 2001's Gold; clocking in at just under 40 minutes, the emphasis here is clearly on quality rather than quantity.

In terms of sound, it's a mixed bag of his previous albums thrown together; 'Goodnight Rose' and 'Tears of Gold' wouldn't have been out of place on Jacksonville City Nights, the goofball 'Halloweenhead' could have been on RocknRoll, and 'Two' (featuring Sheryl Crow) sounds like something from Gold. He is backed again by the Cardinals, who have played an integral part in his career over the past two years; the result is a more focused Ryan, with some excellent playing from the other members of the band; three-part harmonies, pedal steel, banjo work on 'Pearls on a String', and a little teaser of harmonica on the final track. Ryan's voice is on top form too (particularly live, these songs are the best his voice has ever been).

This is an album that gets better in time; on first listen I felt that 'Two' was throw-away, but then had it stuck in my head for hours afterwards. My favourite tracks are 'Halloweenhead' with that keytar solo, the acoustic 'Oh My God, Whatever, Etc', and album closer 'I Taught Myself How to Grow Old'. For those who are new to Ryan, the album gives a pretty good idea of the variety in Ryan's songwriting, whereas many older fans will feel that it is a return to the Ryan of old, moving away from Grateful Dead influenced jams. Live, these songs are sprawling and psychedelic, but on the album they are stripped down to the minimum.

Easy Tiger is an album that shows one of the best singer-songwriters around at the peak of his game. The songs are touching, catchy and memorable. However, there are some old tracks here that have been rerecorded; 'Off Broadway' has been around for years, and 'These Girls' is 'Hey There, Mrs. Lovely' with rewritten lyrics. This lends the feeling that maybe Ryan's heart isn't entirely with the album (due to record label constraints etc). Another complaint is that the songs sometimes feel incomplete since they are good, but quite short; it leaves me wanting more. For that reason, this is a four rather than a five star album.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 22 November 2011
Oh yes!
This sounds to me like the protean Ryan Adams at his best, 14 tight, terse songs without a moment of filler. The much-praised Gold is simply too long & too diverse, other albums have their self-indulgencies, but this gets right to the point from the opening track. It ranks with Heartbreaker and 29 in my book.
There`s a winning mix of styles here, for example the country Tears Of Gold, which could almost be one of the genre`s greats singing, what with its slide guitar backing too, followed by the rockier, intense The Sun Also Sets.
He`s in terrific voice, the band sound warm and sweet, and the whole thing makes me want to play it again as soon as I`ve finished listening to it.
He`s a funny little chap, is Ryan. But underestimate him at your peril. This is, I suspect, a man who`s in it for the long haul - assuming he can keep his demons at bay. Meantime, enjoy the Carolina man at his most melodic, least drawn-out best.
A wonderful collection of fine songs, beautifully played.
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on 26 June 2007
at the first listen "EASY TIGER" seems nothing special. But by the second/third listining you will be truly blown away with sure to be Adams' classics "Everybody Knows","Haloween Head" and "These Girls".I must say well done and thnk you to Ryan And the boys truly phenomenal return to grace!!
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on 31 August 2007
In all honesty, i was slightly surprised by the critical praise heaped upon this album. I am a huge Ryan Adams fan and I thought 29 was great, if not a little slow and slightly repetitive. However, although this is not my favourite Ryan Adams album, it has at least three of the greatest tracks he has ever written (I Taught Myself To Grow, The Sun Also Sets & Halloweenhead)and definitely feels more focused and, for want of a better word, fresher than some of his previous albums. I would recommend this to someone who has never heard of Ryan Adams and is curious as it is perhaps more accesible than his last couple of albums, but still has those beautifully melanchonic songs that make it essential listening. 4 out of 5.
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