Quick Review (LP): Rock N Roll by Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams
Rock N Roll
Lost Highway; 2003

My Rating: C (46/100)

Best Tracks: "Burning Photographs", "Anybody Wanna Take Me Home"

He hates his label!


  • "This Is It." OK, not bad.
  • "Shallow", "1974"…meaty, aggressive hard rock. Nothing special, but not bad.
  • "So Alive" is the sort of thing that, heard every once in a while, is a catchy vaguely Bryan Adams sounding tune. I once heard it a million times while staying at a hotel, and now I hate it.
  • Round about "Luminol" I start to realize that very little separates this from the dustbin of alt-rock history.
  • "Burning Photographs" is a cool tune with a strong melody. 
  • Same with "Anybdoy Wanna Take Me Home", but I prefer the Love Is Hell version.
  • This is way too fast paced as well. Adams just seems like he’s in a colossal hurry here.
  • All in all, this comes off like one big temper tantrum or something. I’ve really enjoyed the second half of Adams’ solo career so far, so I’m glad he’s left his childish ways behind.
  • Seriously, you are setting yourself up to be hated when you name an album Rock N Roll. There’s the inevitable backlash, and then there’s the utter lack of imagination inherent in such a title that immediately repulses the folks who want to like you. Hands down, this is the worst album in Adams’ catalog, almost a total throwaway.
  • Good + thorough review from AMG here, FWIW.

Cohesion (4/5)
Concept (4/5)
Consequence (3/5)
Consistency (2/5)
Songs (3.5/5)

Quick Review (LP): Angles by The Strokes

The Strokes
RCA; 2011

My Rating: B (77/100)

Best Tracks: "Machu Picchu", "Under Cover of Darkness", "Two Kinds of Happiness", "Call Me Back", "Gratisfaction"

Apparently, no one likes this album. I guess it takes someone who didn’t believe the hype in the first place to say this, but I dig it quite a bit, thank you.

– Love the sound of "Machu Picchu."
– "Under Cover of Darkness" sounds like classic Strokes.
– Nice 80’s sound on "Two Kinds of Happiness." Sounds sort of like golden age Tom Petty.
– "Girl from Impanema" salute on "Call Me Back."
– I dig the sort of goofy evil robot feel of "Metabolism.” Were they aiming to make a contribution to the Tron: Legacy soundtrack?
– What does that cover remind me of, other than Q-Bert?
– "Gratisfaction" sounds like Thin Lizzy.
– My take is that the band is posturing for a Weezer-like second decade. I don’t think they really care at this point about being countercultural heroes so much as continuing to churn out hyper-catchy indie rock. Fair enough.
– This is a band that comes with a lot of baggage for most who care, but I’ve never been one to see them as a sort of second coming for rock and roll. I think that allows me to appreciate this record on its own as a catchy little slice of clubby rock and roll fun. Sort of like a good Huey Lewis record, radio-ready and bound to put a smile on your face, even though it may well be the most vapid and empty thing released this year. Tastes great, less filling. You can have it both ways.

Cohesion (4/5)
Consistency (4.5/5)
Consequence (4.5/5)
Concept (4/5)
Songs (4.5/5)