After a few listens to Ryan Adams' latest, Easy Tiger, I wondered if my fanaticism for his work has waned. Sure, the record is probably one of his most straight ahead releases, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's one of his best. After eight proper albums, I think I've become Adams-zed out. This got me to thinking about how many albums an artist can release before I start to lose interest. It's an issue of quality, but what determines the quality varies from act to act.
In Adams' case, I was never really taken with the double-disc Cold Roses. So much so that I never ventured to check out Jacksonville City Nights and 29, also released the same year as Cold Roses. Though certain tracks from those records have really caught my ear (especially 29's "Elizabeth, You Were Born to Play That Part"), but there's a lot of material in his earlier catalog that I prefer.
So maybe that's why I'm really looking forward to the long-in-development box set of unreleased albums he cut early into his solo career. Slated for release later this year, full albums such as 48 Hours, The Suicide Handbook, and Destroyer will come out, as well a few other ones. Though thirteen tracks from these albums were originally released on the Demolition compilation, I've always wanted to hear more. I heard some rather poor-quality copies of 48 Hours and The Suicide Handbook a few years ago and hoped better-sounding versions would surface at some point.
Adams definitely writes fantastic songs, but compared to the fan I was back in 2001 to the fan I am now, I have less of a tolerance for his newer material. He's still capable of putting out a new record that I could value as much as Gold, Love Is Hell and Rock & Roll, but I'll have to play this one by ear.