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Singer/songwriter's got
a tiger in his tank

Ryan Adams - Easy Tiger
(Lost Highway)
4 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Sept. 2, 2007
Ryan Adams

Review by Tony Bonyata

On Ryan Adams' ninth studio effort, Easy Tiger, the singer/songwriter has apparently learned from many of the missteps he's made over the years and got back to the brass tacks of what he knows best - crafting sumptuous roots-based tunes and performing them with a passion and verve that's once again believable. Seeming more comfortable in the alt-country shoes he broke in with his band Whiskeytown in the latter half of the '90s than the hard rock and, God forbid, rap that he's recently dabbled in, Easy Tiger is easily one of Adams' strongest efforts to date.

Joined by his backing band The Cardinals, who were also employed on the prolific artist's last three efforts (Cold Roses, Jacksonville Nights and 29), the classic country rock of the late Gram Parsons is perfectly channeled into this baker's dozen of earthy delights. From the longing tug of "The Sun Also Sets" and the slow-burn country twang of the beautiful "Tears of Gold" to the expertly crafted "Two" and "Everybody Knows" and even the decidedly harder rocking "Halloweenhead," Adams and fellow Cards have crafted a modern rival to Neil Young's Harvest and The Flying Burrito Brothers' The Gilded Palace of Sin - two artists and albums that Adams has certainly emulated throughout his career but, only up until now, has successfully joined the ranks of.

Filled with folk, country, pop and a snootful of Southern charm Adams has successfully tapped into the lowest common denominator of American music. Easy Tiger is a must for anyone interested in not only the easy-going rock of the early '70s and alt-country, but also well-crafted music that's been a rich part of this country for the last two centuries. With this kind of tiger in his tank, this guy sounds like he'll be running for a long, long time.

Watch Ryan Adams performing "Two" on
The David Letterman Show

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