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Ryan Adams (American Music Series) eBook Kindle
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My other criticism is more of a gripe that I have with the author over his unfavorable review of Ryan’s 2nd album, Gold. For many of us, Gold was essentially the gateway album to both Heartbreaker and Whiskeytown. Therefore, any effort to discourage listeners from hearing that album is a disservice to both the artist and the listener in my opinion.
Having said that, the good far outweighs the bad, and Menconi should been recognized for a job well-done.
From the scrappy, punked-up country of "Faithless Street" to the dark, stately "Strangers Almanac" and the ebullient dream pop of the band's finale, "Pneumonia", David Menconi was as close to the story as any journalist could be, having interviewed Adams numerous times and attended countless shows. To the Ryan Adams/Whiskeytown fans who have read all the interviews and devoured all of the bootlegs, this book will reward you with even more behind-the-scenes stories and insights. A hugely enjoyable read.
If your a Ryan Adams fan, this book is a must. The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is: NO PICTURES! C'mon David (Menconi) You were a reporter, surely you have plenty of photos hanging around! Would have been nice to some cool pix of early gigs! A small complaint though.
No smoke and mirrors from Menconi -- the book focuses mostly on the Whiskeytown era, which the author deems the period of Adams' best work. Since I agree with this sentiment, I enjoyed it.
I appreciate that the author skirted the technical aspects of recording. Though I'm a (barely tolerable) musician, as a reader, I simply don't obsess over things like tube amp configuration, blah, etc.. The only thing with which I could find fault were the revolving characters and their respective places in Adams' ancillary bands and the Raleigh scene as a whole. A visual representation could've been an awesome way to flesh this out.
If you're anything more than a casual fan of Adams and his music, the book is a great read. And if you're one of those sad bastards who hopelessly took to Whiskeytown pretty heavily at some point in his life, this is a must.