Ashes & Fire
I usually try to highlight a lesser known album for my weekly picks, if only in the hopes of turning you on to something you may not have known about otherwise. This week however, I couldn't resist selecting the new Ryan Adams album, Ashes & Fire. This is Ryan's first solo album since 2007's Easy Tiger, although that's not to say he's been inactive since then. He's put out 2 records with The Cardinals (Cardinology in 2008 and the leftovers album III/IV in 2010) as well as a record from his metal alter-ego Orion. Ashes & Fire was well worth the wait. It's everything you'd expect from Ryan Adams. It's beautiful. It's sad. This record really shows that all Ryan needs to blow you away is an acoustic guitar and a microphone. I wouldn't be surprised to see this album in my top records of 2011 list. It's a really good one. So, if you're in the mood for something quiet and easy to enjoy, Ashes & Fire is a good place to go.