Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ryan Adams: The Swedish Sessions....

Oh, how I love the internet. If you spend enough time just trolling around, little nuggets of gold can be found. I was under the impression that I had collected, reviewed, and posted all of the studio sessions that helped form Ryan Adams' Demolition, but if you look back at that post, you'll see that one song, 'You Will Always Be The Same' was not credited with a session of birth. That tune was originally recorded in October of 2001 during what would the final studio session needed to complete Demolition.

Ryan took some time during an overseas tour to stop in at Nord Studio AB in Stockholm, Sweden and lay down yet another album's worth of tracks. The Swedish Sessions rival 48 Hours as the best unreleased album in his repertoire. Hell, this one may even go twelve rounds with Heartbreaker. The Swedish Sessions are in fact very reminiscent of that solo debut. When Ryan is plaintive and full acoustic, it's downright heartbreaking. But somehow, he can mix in a screaming harmonica fueled jam in the middle and it just works.

The two lead-off tracks were unfortunately the only survivors from the session. 'For Beth' was later renamed 'Friends' and became the final track on Cold Roses. 'Dear Anne', a song dedicated to Anne Frank, is an obvious standout with Ryan's classic vulnerable yet so emotive soft vocals.

Track 4 busts in the room with a slick groove and even a great joke thrown in the lyrics: "Why'd the boat get drunk? Pier Pressure." Ryan also offers up one of his best attempts at a true blues number with both takes of 'Madeline.' The rising pressure in the song never seems to fully escape, but you gotta give him credit for staying true to the style and not overcooking it.

'Oh, Charles'
, a prison letter ballad drags you right into the dark cell with the narrator. Offering a glint of hope and beginning the ascent back up in the album is 'Come Monday' that leads into a slightly humorous 'Not In Love' showcasing expert fingerpicking. 'Friendly Fire' shows Ryan building to the melodic perfection that was Cold Roses. The Swedish Sessions ends with an acoustic groove as good as 'Choked Up' or 'Monday Night.'

1. You Will Always Be The Same buy Demolition
2. For Beth (aka Friends)
3. Dear Anne
4. Poor Jimmy
5. Madeline I
6. Madeline II
7. Oh, Charles
8. Come Monday
9. Not In Love
10. Friendly Fire
11. Fool For You

Swedish Session ZIP

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  1. You Will Always Be The Same may well be the best modern soul-searching song I've ever heard, period. That this sessions stands so powerfully on its own without it is a tribute to Adams' songsmithing, but I still had to go back and hear it in context...and man, was THAT worth it. GREAT find, Payton.

  2. You are the fucking man, Payton!

  3. Thanks for putting this one up. Any chance of unblocking the pther sessions that you have posted? Thanks again.

  4. Thanks for helping me find some more hidden gems!