Rolling Stone - No. 975, p.743.5 stars out of 5
- "At its best, COLD ROSES lives between the twin blooms of the Rolling Stone's "Dead Flowers" and the Grateful Dead's AMERICAN BEAUTY..."
Spin - pp.102-105
"Adams' tune-smithing has never been sweeter." - Grade: B+
Uncut - p.1053 stars out of 5
- "[F]ull of encouraging hints the 30-year-old is feeling more comfortable in his own skin..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1023 stars out of 5
- "[T]he 18 songs here boast plenty of twanging harmonies and pedal steel whine, and the marked influence of his recent infatuation with the Grateful Dead."
Ryan Adams/Ryan Adams & the Cardinals: Ryan Adams; Brad Pemberton (vocals, drums); J.P. Bowersock (guitar); Catherine Popper (bass guitar); Cindy Cashdollar.
Personnel: Ryan Adams (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, harmonica, piano); Cindy Cashdollar (vocals, steel guitar, lap steel guitar, resonator guitar); Rachael Yamagata, Catherine Popper (vocals, piano); Brett Pemberton (vocals, drums); J.P. Bowersock (electric guitar).
Additional personnel: Rachael Yamagata.
Audio Mixers: Ryan Adams; Tom Schick.
Recording information: Loho Studios, New York, NY.
While not much was heard from the notoriously prolific Ryan Adams in the year following his flurry of 2003 releases (ROCK N ROLL and the two LOVE IS HELL EPs), 2005's COLD ROSES indicates that the singer/songwriter was plenty busy. This double album finds Adams working with a new band, the Cardinals. Fans of Adams's former group Whiskeytown will welcome the sound of COLD ROSES, which roots itself in Neil Young-influenced folk-rock, and easy-going country-rock on the order of the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Eagles.
Like most of Adams's efforts, this album is polished, assured, and pleasurable, with strong songwriting at the fore throughout. The opener, "Magnolia Mountain," sets the tone--a warm, back-porch vibe tinged with melancholy and buoyed by Adams's emotive warble. Sometimes Adams downshifts to straight folk ("Rosebud"); at other times, he is more pop-minded ("Cherry Lane"), while mixing in simple, swaying melodies ("When Will You Come Back Home") and the occasional blues-based rocker ("Beautiful Sorta"). Despite the stylistic variations, COLD ROSES is extremely cohesive, and represents a welcome return to Adams's early sound.