Sound: Mr. Ryan Adams took a few years off from music, mostly because of emotional and physical problems that he had to get under control in order to make music that is worth listening to again. Lately he has been in full force once again like the Ryan of old - releasing three albums in one year - and is better than ever. Following the "Ashes & Fire" release he has been touring nonstop and even released a 7" for Record Store Day.
On April 24, he - or iTunes, I should say - released an eight-song download of his recordings in L.A. It includes four songs from "Ashes & Fire", two from "Heartbreaker", one Bob Mould cover ("Black Sheets Of Rain"), and one from "Whiskeytown's Strangers Almanac". Ryan is top-notch once again, and his voice could not sound any more pure than what it does during "Houses On The Hill". All songs are stripped down to the bare minimum. Pure. // 8
Lyrics: Other than "Rock & Roll", not many people can take away anything from Ryan's lyric writing. These songs were wrote over a span of more than just one decade, and from "Whiskeytown" all the way to "Ashes & Fire", lyrics are something that Mr. Adams has never had a problem with making beautiful. // 8
Overall Impression: Every song is in its live acoustic show version - the bare minimum. Although he makes a mistake in "Dirty Rain" during a chord change, this is pretty much Ryan Adams at his best. His voice sounds brilliant and energetic. I am not a fan of iTunes (I would rather purchase hard copies of an item), but since this is the only way to own this session, I would recommend any fan of Ryan's throughout the years to purchase this.
The only complaint I have against the session is that he plays "Lucky Now" & "Oh My Sweet Carolina", which have both been burnt out by any Ryan Adams fan. Seems like that is all that television shows and radio stations want him to play when having him on. But, if you are not an avid RA follower, this is the PERFECT session to get you started on. // 8