Entertainment Weekly - p.79
"It's definitely one of those three-a.m.-of-the-soul affairs....The net effect is something close to that produced by Bob Dylan's '75 depresso classic BLOOD ON THE TRACKS." -- Grade: B-
Uncut - p.1085 stars out of 5
-- "[T]his is not easy listening, ye he's never made a more beautiful album....29 sucks the willing listener into the undertow of his private ocean."
CMJ - p.4
"His Americana-through-a-haze-of-alcohol spark is never lost among the string sections, piano twinkling and sleepy pedal steel."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.923 stars out of 5
-- "[T]he overall mood is spare and reflective, with Adams playing mostly alone, on guitar and piano, and rarely sounding better..."
Personnel: Ryan Adams (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano); Anatoly Rosinsky, Phillip Levy , Lisa Sutton, Bruce Dukov, Rafael Rishik, Endre Granat (violin); Dennis Karmazyn, David Low (cello); Wayne Bergeron (trumpet); Alan Kaplan (trombone); Ethan Johns (acoustic guitar, ukulele, harpsichord, chamberlin, keyboard bass, drums); Jennifer Condos, J.P. Bowersock.
Audio Mixer: Ethan Johns.
Recording information: Three Crows Studios, Los Angeles, CA (08/02/2004-08/14/2004).
Photographers: Andy West ; Jennifer Tipoulow; Ryan Adams; Jon Graboff; Danny Clinch.
Ryan Adams's third album of 2005, 29, is his only outing of the year not co-billed to his band, the Cardinals. The distinction is important--while Adams's Cardinals-backed outings allowed the North Carolina-born singer/songwriter to get in touch with his alt-country roots, 29 is a more minimalist offering that features gritty blues (the simmering title track), spare ballads (the lovely "Starlite Diner"), and emotive pop/rock (the delicate "Blue Sky Blues"). Although this disc is closest in spirit to Adams's LOVE IS HELL releases, it's a much more eclectic affair, leading the listener down many of the performer's subtler musical paths and back to one lonely intersection on the edge of town.