http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/345db650ebdf260e7ef5bcd237cfd9b46f032962.jpg Demolition

Ryan Adams


Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
September 10, 2002

For some musicians, songwriting is like tooth extraction; for others, it's as easy as brushing twice a day. Like Prince and Stephin Merritt, rising alt-country star Ryan Adams is a compulsive songwriter. His third solo album, Demolition, collects demos he made in the last year between tour dates. Adams recorded five albums' worth of material in five separate sessions, two of them with his cow-punk pals the Pinkhearts; it was all rumored to be coming out as a box set. Mercifully, he trimmed it down to thirteen songs, unified by Adams' gift for melody, the theme of heartbreak and his adenoidal vocal resemblance to Paul Simon.

The ballads, many recorded with steel guitarist Bucky Baxter, are much better than the rockers; "Cry on Demand" is the best: four mournful minutes that shut down the world. Since "New York, New York" was the breakout hit on Gold, Adams follows it up here with the melancholy "Dear Chicago"; look forward to songs named after Los Angeles and Dallas on future records. "Starting to Hurt," on the other hand, is a bouncy slice of midtempo cheese that could easily be covered by his doppelganger Bryan Adams. The record closes with the exceptional "Jesus (Don't Touch My Baby)," which sets happy memories of California beaches to moody, atmospheric music, rendering them paranoid. Told to write a song about a silver lining, Adams will always find the cloud.

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Money For Nothing”

    Dire Straits | 1984

    Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

    More Song Stories entries »