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Jacksonville City Nights

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Editors’ Notes

The second release of Ryan Adams’ 2005 trilogy, Jacksonville City Nights represents the strongest foray into his country roots since his days leading alt-country heroes Whiskeytown. Jon Graboff’s pedal steel guitar is featured front and center, alongside tinkling honky-tonk pianos and some of Adams’ most heartfelt vocals. “A Kiss Before I Go” is pure Nashville, filled with clever barroom insights (“Can’t see tomorrow with yesterday’s eyes”) and a natural-sounding hook, while “The End” ponders the Jacksonville of Adams’ youth until he can only moan. “Dear John,” a duet with Norah Jones, is no Gram Parsons meets Emmylou Harris, sounding more like the end result of an evening spent overindulging. It’s a wasted vibe in every way imaginable. Better are the moments when Adams curtails his excesses and plays to his strengths. “Games” is a slow, economical piano ballad that fully displays Adams’ intuitive vocals, twisting a word or releasing a note into a sigh for emphasis. Overall, this album is uneven, but luminous in spots.

Customer Reviews

Could Be Canadian

He's so overlooked and underappreciated that he could be Canadian. This is an artist that can do sweet melancholy country, straight-ahead rock and roll and still break your heart with every song. For those who think genres are for people who buy CDs at the mall and just want to hear some good music. Recommended: A bottle of JD, the night falling softly outside your window, bittersweet memories of the love you used to have.

Perfect highway music

Drive with this playing at night on a deserted highway. I did, and it made sense.

Jacksonville City Nights, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
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Customer Ratings