Close to a year later than most everyone in the DRA blogosphere expected (including me), Ryan Adams will apparently have his first new full-length album since 2011’s Ashes & Fire coming out this fall. Definitive details about this long-awaited followup remain sketchy, since most of the news that’s out there right now consists of different music blogs citing each other as sources without anything “official” from Ryan or his management. But here’s about the most detailed item I’ve seen so far, which cites Sept. 9 as release date for the self-titled Ryan Adams through Blue Note Records.
Preceding the album is a single, “Gimme Something Good,” due for release on July 1. I wish I could say I find it great, but…I’m afraid “Gimme Something Good” sounds more like a riff in search of a song than anything that will rank highly in Ryan’s catalog. It’s not bad, with a feel similar to the old Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty hit “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”, thanks to the distinctive keyboard wash of longtime Petter sideman Benmont Tench (on whose recent solo album Ryan also played). But so far it’s not rising beyond the level of workmanlike for me, and the lyrics certainly imply an unpromising sense of ennui on Ryan’s part:
I can’t talk
My mind is so blank
So I’m going for a walk
I’ve got nothing left to say…
ADDENDA (8/12-13/2014): Here is Ryan’s own “Gimme Something Good” video — starring Elvira! And here’s an explanation for why he didn’t put out an album in 2013, as expected: At great cost, he scrapped last year’s model. And here he is playing “Gimme Something Good” on Jimmy Fallon.