RYAN ADAMS plays the Winter Garden on December 10. See listing. Rating: NNN
Ryan Adams has released an average of 1.3 albums per year for the past decade. Some years it's one album, other years it's more like 0.3. His 13th has a handful of good tunes but a bunch of bad ones, too.
Inconsistency has always been Adams's weakness. His debut, 2000's Heartbreaker, arguably defined the alt-country genre but had some awful songs among the genius. Last year's III/IV has profound bits mixed with unlistenable ones.
The formula is this: when Adams sings about loving relationships, it goes in the negative column. When he writes about messy love affairs and their corresponding breakups, he's at his best. The first single, Lucky Now, about his blacked-out years in New York, is on the right side of Adams's spotty history. The next track, I Love You But I Don't Know What To Say, is a full-fledged mistake. And so on. Add it all up and you get a typical Ryan Adams release.
Top track: Lucky Now