Culture

Ryan Adams on the climb to stardom

Ryan Adams’ mainstream success couldn’t have come at a better time. With a hit single that has become almost an anthem of hope for the people of NYC, aptly titled “New York, New York”, a new power pop group called The Virgins, and the recently released album “Gold,” it seems like he has the keys to stardom.

What took him so long?

A couple of months ago, only people with a taste for the indie folk rock scene knew who Ryan Adams, (not to be confused with the Canadian singer with an extra B on the name), was.

Although he released four critically acclaimed albums with his former band Whiskeytown, and an impressive solo effort, “Heartbreaker,” America was too involved with simple-minded, bubblegum pop to even take notice. But as times change and trends come and go, good music prevails. Perhaps that explains all the buzz that surrounds Adams all of a sudden.

One of the most admired singer-songwriter-performers of this generation, the North Carolina native, is able to combine the bluesy feel of country and folk, with his admiration of punk power chords, to create his own signature sound.

This is noise that is enjoyable to all sorts of ears: pop, country, ballad and rock equally. With “Heartbreaker” it was more of the artist trying to find himself, but “Gold” is a huge step for him to make more mature music that matters to everyone, including himself.

Following the recording of Whiskeytown’s final album “Pneumonia” this year, the band dismantled, giving Adams the opportunity to focus on his own solo projects. “Gold” broke through months later taking music journalists and fans by surprise.

“I’m giving myself a chance to look at everything around me and not just be the victim,” he explains. “A lot of the subject matter [in the album] is more of me describing things as trying to make sense of them as opposed to just talking about what goes down and the emotions I feel.”

Adams is also busy with a new project called The Virgins, that features Lemonheads frontman Evan Dando, Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha and bassist Melissa Aur der Mauf (ex-Hole member), and which will go into the studio later this year and the beginning of the next. Plus, he already has more than a dozen songs lined up for his next solo record.

There is nothing that Ryan Adams lacks that is necessary for a true rock hero and visionary on his way. He has the talent, experience, creativity, and style to take him to the top. Not only does his album deserve its name, but his music is golden as well.

November 30, 2001

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.