It has been quite some time since Ryan Adams has put out and album and, arguably, an even longer stretch since he’s put out a solo country-folk album. “Ashes & Fire” features a strong case that Adams can put out an album that is more than the sum of its parts – something that is uncommon in even the most gifted musicians.

Maybe it’s his marriage to Mandy Moore that has him tamer these days, but “Ashes & Fire” is noticeably less self-pitying than those that came before. Each song sounds more like a lullaby, and less like an ode to his struggle as a human being. Adams’ new perspective is a welcome change from his previous routine, with each track sounding like a stripped down version of his folky Carolina roots. While there is little variation to be had, the emotion that is invested in each song is exceptional. It is difficult to hear anything beyond the rawness that Adams brings to the table.

Though “Ashes & Fire” does little to deviate from its intense material, it still manages to be an encompassing whole. With its soft melodies and even softer subject matter, it is a solid addition to Adams’ range of work.

About the Author

Aimee Mandle
Aimee Mandle
Aimee enjoys catching up on new music and movies and she loves writing about them! Reviewing just about everything for iSPY, Aimee has become one of our go to sources for the best up and coming "stuff". Reach out to Aimee for any suggestions or comments.