“How long do I have here with you?” sings Ryan Adams on “Shadows,” a dark, tortured gem that could have fit on Love Is Hell, right after “Please Do Not Let Me Go.” This might not be an album filled with “slow, adult shit,” but I assure you, we haven’t exactly exploded into a honeymoon phase, either. Rather, these songs reveal an artist who is doing whatever the hell he wants, warts and all.
I’m fairly certain Adams ditched giving fucks about ratings a long time ago. And, yes, I could go on and on how “Stay With Me” sounds like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but really, does any of that matter? I’d like to piss on comparisons 99 percent of the time.
What’s real to me is when Adams sings “I wish I could call you, I wish you were still around” during “My Wrecking Ball.” Because we’re in that car with him, the tank is empty, we’ve rolled the windows down, we feel the wind. The destination is unclear, but the feeling is absolutely clear: I wish you were here with me.
Thanks for coming back, Ryan Adams.