Not that I'm biased, but I personally think that Ryan Adams is the finest songwriter to emerge onto the scene since the turn of the century. Not only does he fill his music with passion and intelligence, but he continuously constructs timeless, genre-bending, lyrically superior songs. The best part is, he seems to have an endless supply of creativity and the desire to give his consistent stream of new material to his loyal fans. After spawning multiple Grammy nods for his sophomore effort, Gold, Adams could have relaxed, taken a few months off, and waited a few years to release the follow-up. However, the prolific songwriter pressured his label, Lost Highway, to release an "unofficial" follow-up to Gold, compiled of tracks laid down in a series of demo sessions over the past year. Creatively titled Demolition, that album is a sort of hand-picked "best of" compilation pulled from those very fruitful sessions. As they are demos and were all recorded in only one take (with no overdubs), the songs on Demolition lack some of the polish of Gold, but that is what makes the album so interesting. Similar to his previous albums, Demolition features a broad spectrum of tempos and styles, ranging from slow, classic country, to fast-paced, alternative radio-ready hits. The first single, "Nuclear," falls into the latter category. It is a great rock & roll song, and that's really all there is to it. Other stand out tracks include "Cry on Demand," "Starting to Hurt," and "Gimme a Sign." The only track I dislike on the entire 13-song album is "Jesus (Don't Touch My Baby)," the final track. It is a bit boring and lacks substance, but is easy enough to skip over. Demolition is great album, even for a collection of demos, and I highly recommend it.

Ryan Adams
Lost Highway