Ryan Adams Rock N Roll (Lost Highway) Rating: NN ; Love Is Hell Pt. 1 (Lost Highway) Rating: NNN
I don't often find myself in agreement with Alice Cooper, but he was right on the money when he ripped Ryan Adams for being too whiny on Rock N Roll. But even worse than all the melodramatic squealing on the new disc are the insipid lyrics and Adams's annoying tendency to rely on repetition rather than craft clever hooks. There's a slight improvement in the songwriting for the strummy, introspective Love Is Hell Pt. 1, although our Brown Dirt Cowboy has yet to write his own Tiny Dancer. A sensitively picked rendition of Oasis fist-shaker Wonderwall shows that with better material Adams could be the next John Mayer, but the artfully blurred image Adams shot for the sleeve suggests he's instead following in the footsteps of his Can-rock doppelgänger, Bryan Adams. Ryan Adams plays the Opera House Wednesday (December 10).