Twenty-six-year-old former Whiskeytown frontman Ryan Adams continues to blossom brilliantly with Gold, his follow-up to Bloodshot's Heartbreaker (Music to My Ears, Nov.

Twenty-six-year-old former Whiskeytown frontman Ryan Adams continues to blossom brilliantly with Gold, his follow-up to Bloodshot's Heartbreaker (Music to My Ears, Nov. 4, 2000). The disc's 16 songs (and the additional five on the free EP given away with the first 100,000 copies) document Adams' life over the past two years, during which he moved from New York City to Nashville and finally to Los Angeles. The set is a mix of Beggars Banquet-inspired rock ("Tina Toledo's Street Walkin' Blues"), strummy, California-influenced midtempos ("La Cienaga Just Smiled"), and some of his best ballads yet, including the beautiful "When the Stars Go Blues." A joy from beginning ("New York New York," Adams' fairwell to Manhattan and the "love of his life") to end (the melancholy "Goodnight, Hollywood Boulevard"), Gold offers a longer, more exciting glimpse at Adams' mainstream potential and the likelihood that he will be making great records for a very long time to come.—WO

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