“There’s something about you
That reminds me of all those times
When I wasn’t sorry, when I wasn’t blue
The cherry moon it shone down on us
Under the stars shining down every one for you
If I could count them all
I would circle the moon
And count ’em back to nothing
Till I got to you.”

Is “Cold Roses” really a decade old, somehow, this year? I’ll take it – I’ll take any excuse I can to indulge in this indulgent Americana exercise. It’s a damn brilliant record.

I know “Cold Roses” like I know the bottom of my feet, in the sense that I could tell you what they look like without sacrificing the potential surprise. I love Ryan Adams, and this was among the first full-lengths of his I really got into. For a double LP, it is incredibly memorable, with a sound and style that truly carry in the same frame throughout. I like how it sounds on vinyl- no, love, because the track order is different a bit and it still keeps you guessing then. I bought this on vinyl, in Austin, before I had a record player, because I knew that even though I didn’t have one I’d known then I would want it later.

That was 2012. Sounds farther away than it was, really, time passes so fast and full. This track, “Meadowlake Street,” passes up too, it goes so fast without much of a command before the snare, and everything changes to the ear except the melody, which is familiar by this three-quarters through point. That theme picks up later in the album, “Beautiful Sorta” with a more up-front swing, then the title track’s own solo frenzy. In the same vein is “If I am a Stranger,” though the softer takes of “Now That You’re Gone” and the blues-tinged “Life is Beautiful” are of a softer touch. I don’t ever tire of his guitar sounds, lyrical subtleties or finer points of naivete indulgence. Bring it – that’s the only way you learn, Given that ten years out we’re all still talking about Ryan Adams, I’d say he’s not the worst as far as following your inspirations is concerned.


“Something in you dies, when it’s over
Everybody cries sometimes
If loving you’s a dream
That’s not worth having
Then why do I dream of you?”

~Meadowlake Street
Ryan adams and the Cardinals, Cold Roses