Well, it appears that Ryan Adams’ time on the U.S. charts with his current eponymously titled album was short despite the career-high debut. Ryan Adams (Pax Am/Blue Note Records) entered the Billboard 200 on Sept. 27 at a lofty No. 4, three notches higher than his previous personal best; but the album’s position has dropped every week since then. And on the Nov. 15 chart (the one topped by queen-of-the-universe Taylor Swift’s 1989), it’s all the way out of Billboard’s Top 200 after just seven weeks.
Ryan Adams has sold 82,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan, so it hasn’t really reached beyond Ryan’s previously converted hardcore following. If the album is to see any further chart action, one of its songs will have to catch on at radio. But like Tom Petty’s A&R man from “Into the Great Wide Open,” I don’t hear a single.
Meantime, the chart gods taketh away, but they also giveth. Even though Ryan Adams is gone from the Billboard 200, Ryan still gets one more week there thanks to his latest seven-inch EP “Vampires” — which debuts at a modest No. 156 on the Nov. 15 chart. Since “Vampires” is a limited-edition release, this will most likely be its only chart week. And given that “Vampires” also ain’t that good, I wish “Jacksonville” had been the indie seven-inch to make the chart instead.
Tags: 1989, Billboard 200, Blue Note Records, Into the Great Wide Open, Losering, Nielsen Soundscan, Pax Am Records, Ryan Adams, Taylor Swift, Tom Petty, Vampires, Whiskeytown
The eponymously titled Ryan Adams will indeed be released Sept. 9 via Blue Note Records, with lead single “Gimme Somthing Good” and 10 other songs as per the track list below, not to mention a cover shot of Ryan himself looking…let’s call it a shade unkempt. It does not appear that the album includes the single’s “Aching For More” B-side (which has a cameo from none other than Johnny Depp — ah, synchronicity!), so you’ll have to buy the seven-inch for that. The album is available for pre-order on amazon right now.
1. Gimme Something Good
4. Am I Safe
5. My Wrecking Ball
6. Stay With Me
8. Feels Like Fire
9. I Just Might
10. Tired Of Giving Up
11. Let Go
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…
Obviously, your mileage may vary, and here’s a fan-made video from the Ryan Adams Superfan page on Facebook; give it a listen and see what you think. Meantime, maybe it will grow on me…
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.