I can’t get enough of Ryan Adam’s Big Colors album lately, and what strikes me first is the song, “It’s So Quiet, It’s Loud.” The chord structure screams Johnny Marr, and harkens back to Strangeways Here We Come, or is it The Queen Is Dead?
I’m enamored how he’s so himself, vocally, that you have to give it several listens to unfold, and then, the strings give it away, what he’s going for, that is. It’s on ode to The Smiths in every which way but loose.
Big Colors is a goddamn masterpiece, maybe the best album he’s ever recorded? It has everything required for the perfect rock album, even an upbeat rocker called, “Power,” which we find ourselves not needing after subsequent visitations.
“Manchester” is brilliant and eerily reminiscent of The Smiths’ debut, especially at the end of the track where Ryan hits his falsetto. The fingerpicking is close to Marr’s when Moz sings, “Oh Manchester, so much to answer for.”
The bassline in “Do Not Disturb” is a groove that’s part “Maneater,” and part “Nightclub Jitters.” It gives way to a poppy, Rufus Wainright chorus that’s never before been accomplished by Ryan Adams. It’s retro and magical.
I love the verses in “Fuck The Rain,” especially when he sings, “Long enough to be alive/With a bleached out heart and a broken smile.” I put that shit on repeat and fold like a mad man.
“I Surrender,” “In It For The Pleasure,” and “Showtime,” are all equally great, but the latter’s chorus has been an addictive piece of ear candy. “Minus the tears, and the heartache, and the lies/Hearts racing when it’s showtime.” It’s a beautiful refrain, that keeps coming back to me. There are strings on this number as well, which resonate and move the song forward. They also help distinguish this album from some of his other works.
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