Rock N Roll

Breathing much-needed fresh air into the rock genre with his latest album, Ryan Adams can proudly stand by the critical acclaim heaped upon him for his 2000 debut, "Heartbreaker." Deceptively simple,

Breathing much-needed fresh air into the rock genre with his latest album, Ryan Adams can proudly stand by the critical acclaim heaped upon him for his 2000 debut, "Heartbreaker." Deceptively simple, "Rock N Roll" (spelled backward in the title) focuses on straight-ahead guitar riffs. Unlike so many rock acts today, Adams does not attempt to rev things up with a Detroit garage sound or a wailing punk vocal style. This bare nakedness suits him fine. Still, Adams puts a few curves in the landscape. A bluesy, explosive swagger figures in "Shallow," while current single "So Alive" pulsates with softer guitar layers. He takes another turn, vulnerably crying out, "Anybody wanna take me home?," on the track of the same name. With this kind of work, how could you not want to?—SA