Many will see this album as a return to form for Ryan Adams especially because it follows the blueprint of his most loved and critically acclaimed debut solo release, "Heartbreaker". On that album Adams explored a pared down, country-folk sound which was mostly acoustic and leaned heavily on the likes of Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt for its influences. That album also featured an illustrious collaborator in the shape of Gillian Welch (and her musical accomplice David Rawling) and on this album Adams collaborates with Norah Jones who appears as a pianist and backing vocalist on many of the tracks. Some might argue that Jones' brand of easy-listening jazz and soft country makes for a slightly-too-polite listening experience and this would be a valid criticism for some of the tracks on this album. "Come Home" particularly simpers beautifully but lacks the bite or emotional depth that songs like "Winding Wheel" from "Heartbreaker" had.
Elsewhere there are echoes of other great Adams albums in the form of "Love is Hell" with its angsty, edgy ballad style to the fore on the excellent "Chains of Love" and the almost forgotten "29" on which the lovely "Invisible Riverside" would have fitted nicely.
In splitting up his band, The Cardinals with which Adams made several electric, alt-country albums Adams has clearly elected to do something different and the adoption of a more acoustic style certainly sees him moving into more familiar territory. This change also allows his music to breathe a little more and certainly for his vocals to come to the fore reminding us that he is a highly accomplished country/folk singer. This is epitomised on the excellent title track which is as good as anything Adams has produced in his inconsistent but often brilliant career.
Highly recommended if you like your Adams acoustic and emotional. Some of it might be a little too polite for fans of his electric output.