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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
68
Ashes & Fire
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 10 November 2011
I don't what demons has possessed Ryan as his albums since "Heartbreaker" and "Gold" certainly have'nt been up to the standards you would expect from a super song writer. I reluctantly purchased "Ashes and Fire" and was very pleasantly surprized. This album is beautifully produced by Glyn Johns famous for his work with the Stones and Dylan and it has certainly brought out the best in Ryan.The songs are of a very similar type all through, ballads and love songs, but because they are so well written it works beautifully. His voice comes from his gut through his heart to capture the honesty of the words that he sings as if he has lived every moment. I really loved this and hopefully he is now back on track and I can't wait to hear more, like the beautifully titled last track "I love you but I don't know what to say" get it and I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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on 14 October 2011
There used to be a theory that Ryan Adams was too prolific, and lacked any quality control filter. However with the exception of III/IV and `rock n roll' I have always found plenty to like on all his albums. With a bit of a lay off from new music output over the last couple of years, Ryan has come back with what I think is his best album since the `love is hell' period.

On first hearing I thought it was a solid 4 star record - with no obviously great songs - but no weak ones either (bit of a first for Ryan!). Having now listened repeatedly, the album has grown on me considerably, revealing some great new textures to the arrangements (especially the organ), and he is in consistently good voice. This turns out to be a much more mature and refined album than I initially gave it credit for, revealing a subtlety that is only revealed when you listen carefully. Absolutely recommended.
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on 14 November 2011
Only listened to it a few times so maybe I will change my mind on further listening... But, so far I think its good, but not quite as great as Heartbreaker or Gold. I enjoyed all the tracks (except Kindness, which was a bit too soppy even for me) but none of them have really leapt out at me the way some of his older songs do. Nothing as great as Come Pick me Up or New York, New York and nothing particularly upbeat. All quite slow and mellow, which is very nice too, but I prefer something a bit faster paced.
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on 24 November 2011
To say that this album is a return to form suggests Ryan's past albums have lacked but that isn't the case and especially as this is all about Ashes and Fire. While some people disliked and even hated Rock 'N' Roll, it is one of my favourite albums and shows the talent and ability of Ryan Adams to change his style and still do it better than most others out there. If you are a fan of great song-writing then simply buy this album. Stand out tracks for me include 'Lucky Now', 'Save Me', and 'Come Home'.
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on 14 October 2013
I keep coming back to this album and it always sounds fresh and surprising, and I am able to hear something different every time I listen to it. But the stand out feature is Adam's voice - the passion, tone and his rhythmic ability are wonderful deliverers of inspired lyrics.

I was tempted to give this a 5* rating, but I think we sometimes give these away too freely, so it is 4+ for sure. Highly Recommended.
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on 24 November 2011
Ryan Adams must be one of the most accomplished poets and prolific singer-songwriters around today, and this effort is right there at the top of his game. A great mix of more upbeat songs like the Dylanesque title track, Ashes n' Fire, to the mellow, gentle offerings of Rocks, Kindness, and I Love You But I Don't Know What To Say. No regrets with this purchase, and not to be missed.
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on 14 December 2011
Ryan Adams is always worth listening to, it's just that sometimes he's good and other times he's very good. After a few only good releases Ashes and Fire really is a return to fine form and I haven't been listening to anything else for what seems like weeks. It's a slow burner and it does take a few listens to appreciate, but persevere and you won't be disappointed.
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on 6 December 2011
Elsewhere on this page ,someone said that he has had enough of Ryan Adams, and that he was 'movin on', I respect the mans choice ,but I sure as hell do not understand it ... mate, you move on.... im movin back ! .

I was bored stiff by Cardinalogy and Easy Tiger , having loved all of his earlier albums both solo and with Whiskeytown... i even enjoyed a lot of 111/1V , but after the two aforementioned albums above , i too was ready to move on ...
Im so happy that i gave the great man another chance... because ,yes, much to my relief and surprise ... he is great all over again.
I love and adore this album , it is filled with songs of rare and tender beauty ... If i have one complaint , I would have prefered just a little less of Norah Jones, Hey , i like a plaintive piano , but I simply prefer an unaccompanied acoustic guitar.
'Heartbreaker' is my favourite album of this century.
That said , the songs here which have elements of 29 ,Jacksonville and Cold Roses are some of the most beautiful creations Ryan has yet bestowed upon us. I was ready to walk away , if anyone out there is reading this , and feels as I did , a little let down by recent albums, I truly and wholeheartdly recommend that you buy this album .
I say that as a fan of Ryans 'better' musical output , not everything has lived up to the high standards he set himself with Whiskeytown and his earlier solo work ... but Ashes & Fire , is a brilliant return to form .
Buy it , Do yourself a good turn ; ).

P.S.- Just listen to Amazons 30 second samples, I wouldn't want to steer anyone wrong,we all have our own individual tastes, This 'review' started out as a retort/comment to a review not far from here : ) , And a guy is entitled to refer to my fave album of 2011 ,a.s 'Cardboard' if he sees fit.... but this album has restored my faith in Mr.Adams , it's that good. Yup , listen to the samples..they will provide enough for you to decide ,if this album ,is to your liking , or not ? . (go to Amazon.com if you can't get samples easily on Amazon.co.uk )
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on 13 November 2011
An extended break from music and a bit of domestic stability seem to have done Ryan Adams a power of good. This is his best, most consistent album for 10 years. He has produced plenty of brilliant material in the meanwhile, but there has always been something amiss, to the extent that he lost out on one of last year's "artist of the decade" awards to Jack White. Ashes & Fire vindicates the patience of those of us who always felt that Adams' problem was too much talent, rather than too little, and that he was bound to score another bulls-eye sooner or later. He sounds comfortable again with that wonderful voice, pitched somewhere between Gram Parsons and Neil Young. Norah Jones adds some lovely harmonies. More at ease with the world around him, Adams' lyrics sound fresher and more purposeful than they have for years. "Dirty Rain", "Come Home", "Save Me", "Kindness", the classics pour out one after another, finishing beautifully with the unfollowable "I Love You but I Don't Know What to Say". There is no-one else around at present capable of producing this brand and quality of Americana. Adams is a major artist by any standards, even those of his late-sixties/early-seventies sources of inspiration. Don't miss out on the chance to watch the trajectory of this shooting star while it still burns bright. Buy this album.
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on 5 November 2011
When Ryan Adams is on this form you think of Neil Young and Dylan at their peak for comparisons and Ryan's voice is of course vastly superior. For Adams fans though think more of his classic debut "Heartbreaker" album as a comparison.

This is right up there with his finest work - his voice shines on some spectacular harmonies and superb lyrics. The album opens very strongly with perhaps track 3 the beautiful "Come Home" being an instant classic.

There is not a dud track in sight though and if anything the album gets stronger from the middle with great tracks such as "Chains of Love", "Save Me", "Kindness" and the heartfelt finish "I Love You But I Don't Know What To Say" which is sung to perfection.

On this form Ryan Adams has few equals.
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