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Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - Jacksonville City Nights Review
by Zane Ewton

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Ryan Adams has spent the last decade passing through a couple bands and even more genres. Jacksonville City Nights is Adams' dive into straight up honky-tonk country. He has wrapped up the themes that have driven country for decades; heartbreak, hard work, cheating on your lover, death, small town life and so forth.

Thankfully, Adams avoids the clichés that are rampant in country music right now. With backing by The Cardinals, Jacksonville City Nights is at times gorgeous, uplifting, sentimental, heartbreaking and depressing. The record has a flow and atmosphere that is hard to deny.

The best moments are the sparsest including a duet with Norah Jones on "Dear John" and "Silver Bullets". On the other end tracks like "The Hardest Part" and "Trains" lend some levity to the proceedings and are highlights of the 14 track set.

Jacksonville City Nights is the second release in a planned trilogy with the Cardinals. Cold Roses was Adams return to the country-rock that pleased the critics so well. While Roses was the balance of country and rock, Nights is full fledged country. The kind of music that is playing in dirty bar on a Sunday night, when only the loneliest and most brokenhearted are still lingering from the weekend.

Adams wears his influences on his sleeves which might turn the classicist country fans away, those who hear their old favorites in his music. Whether he has distilled the best of his influences or is simply able to run through the motions is up for debate and has been and will be debated throughout his career. When the results are as pleasing as Jacksonville City Nights is shouldn't matter. At least he is not Kenny Chesney.


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Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - Jacksonville City Nights

Label:Lost Highway
Rating:

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