Rolling Stone - 12/25/03, p.104
Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Best Albums of 2003"
Rolling Stone - 11/13/03, p.904 stars out of 5
- "...The best bullets here are like excerpts from a fantasy mix tape of classic glam and garage rock..."
Spin - 12/03, pp.124-6
"...He swaps pedal-steel filigree for synthesizers, and everywhere the guitars are cranked, the sneakers set on stun..."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/7/03, pp.69-70
"...In keeping with the alt-rock aesthetic, there is a primitive urgency to many of these tracks..." - Rating: B
Q - 01/01/04, p.75Ranked #46
in Q's "The 50 Best Albums of 2003"
Q - 12/03, p.1213 stars out of 5
- "...Adams is on fine, growly form on the uptempo 'This Is It'..."
Magnet - 2/04, p.90
CMJ - 11/10/03, p.6
"...This time, the alt-country ballads are nowhere to be seen, with Adams fully indulging his inner rock-star desires....with meaty hooks and distorted guitars that lurch from chord to chord, Adams growls out break-up and make-up anthems one right after the other..."
Mojo (Publisher) - 11/03, p.1204 stars out of 5
- "...Ostensibly straightahead, uncontentious music....Like his debut, it feels like Adams has unleashed himself, without fear..."
Personnel: Ryan Adams (keyboards, bass guitar, background vocals); Ryan Adams (vocals, various instruments); Johnny McNab (guitar); Joe McGinty, Joe McGrath (piano); Jonathan Flaugher, Johnny Pisano , Tony Shanahan, Jamie Candiloro (bass guitar); Paul Garisto (drums); Parker Posey, Melissa Auf der Maur, Billie Joe Armstrong (background vocals); Johnny T (drums).
Audio Mixer: Jamie Candiloro.
Recording information: Cello Studios, Los Angeles, CA; Globe Studio, New York, NY; Globe Studios, New York, NY; STratosphere Sound, New York, NY.
Photographers: Bob Gruen; Richard Kern; Ruddy.
As the album's title indicates, this is Ryan Adams' full-on rock outing. Here the former Whiskeytown leader/enfant terrible eschews all twang in favor of indulging his alt-rock id, and the result is a whirlwind tour through rock & roll history as filtered through his trademark swagger. Adams wears his influences brazenly, like patches sewn on his jean jacket, from the T-Rex stomp of "Shallow" to the snotty Nirvana/Smashing Pumpkins hybrid of "Note to Self: Don't Die" to a number of Replacements-influenced tracks, including "This Is It" and "Do Miss America." Ever the contrarian, Adams leaves the only truly subdued song on ROCK N ROLL for the title track, a move which nods towards the melancholy pop of his simultaneous release, LOVE IS HELL PART 1.