The Bar Is A Beautiful Place
World-weary, tired, compassionate. Heart-broken, earnest, misunderstood. Playful despite it all. There's something delicate about this song: the laugh at 2:35, the oh-so-tired "sha-na-na-na... na" throughout. Ryan Adams has offered up some great songs through the years, even great albums (Gold and Heartbreaker, for me), and you couldn't expect any less from someone who releases two to three a year. His music is something I appreciate, sometimes love, but have few words for. So go get yourself your supper, your Kleenex, and your memories, then curl up in your duvet and I'll (mostly) let the songs speak for themselves. [Buy]
Cry On Demand
I remember the exact moment I first heard this song. I was in a friends kitchen, this song silently caressing us from a battered CD player, kept quiet so his parents didn't hear. There was tea and toast, and each of us in our respective seats. We were too young to get into bars, but too cool not to try. He was tired and teary-eyed but sincere and friendly. I tried to be the same, but mostly Ryan Adams took my part in the conversation. I just sat there eating my toast, watching someone fall in love with a song for probably the fiftieth time - "Nobody cries, they just smoke and stare at their shoes." I swoon at an earnest vocal delivery. I close my eyes and let it hold me. There's one of those moments in this song three minutes in: "Why would you want to?" [Buy]
Wonderwall (Oasis cover)
The voice cracks, the music echoes into the ether. [Buy]
Call Me On Your Way Back Home
"Oh baby why did I treat you like I did?
Huni, I was just a kid.
Bubblegum on my shoe, but...
you loved me. and I loved...
you... Call me on your way back home, dear, 'cause I miss you.
Oh I just wanna die without you.
Huni, that ain't nothing new." [Buy]
La Cienega Just Smiled
This song bathes in a bath of tears, and it means the world to me. It's an acceptance of all that's been, not knowing what the future holds, but knowing that although looking back feels lovely - comfort in memories - damn, it hurts. Sometimes it feels like I miss you more everyday.
With songs like these, memories tip-toe out from their hiding places, like tears falling out of seen-it-all eyes. Evocative of the kind of understated beauty that should be understood through gestures, and caresses, warm bodies on cool beds, memories, regrets and silent shouts. Lowercase letters just don't do them justice. [Buy]
Ryan Adams will be releasing his new album, Easy Tiger, on June 4th through Lost Highway. It will feature a reworked version of this song: