William Goode’s Journal – Brendan Chilcutts Museum of Endangered Sounds

I was put onto this site by a friend of mine. It is seriously worth a look and at the same time a lot of fun and may just bring a few memories back. Brendan Chilcutt is collecting sounds that are now almost extinct. Have a listen, you will remember most of them. Nice graphics too, this is a site I’ll be visiting regularily. Oh and i love the fact that you can play them all at the same time should you wish, seriously interesting.

This is text from Brendan Chilcutts site:

The Museum Of Endangered Sounds is owned and operated by me, Brendan Chilcutt (handle: kidpeleus99@aol.com).

I launched the site in January of 2012 as a way to preserve the sounds made famous by my favorite old technologies and electronics equipment. For instance, the textured rattle and hum of a VHS tape being sucked into the womb of a 1983 JVC HR-7100 VCR. As you probably know, it’s a wonderfully complex sound, subtle yet unfiltered. But, as streaming playback becomes more common in the US, and as people in developing nations like Canada and the UK get brought up to DVD players, it’s likely that the world will have seen and heard the last of older machines like the HR-7100. And as new products come to market, we stand to lose much more than VCRs.

Imagine a world where we never again hear the symphonic startup of a Windows 95 machine. Imagine generations of children unacquainted with the chattering of angels lodged deep within the recesses of an old cathode ray tube TV. And when the entire world has adopted devices with sleek, silent touch interfaces, where will we turn for the sound of fingers striking QWERTY keypads? Tell me that. And tell me: Who will play my GameBoy when I’m gone?

These questions and more led me to the undertaking that is The Museum Of Endangered Sounds.

My ten-year plan is to complete the data collection phase by the year 2015, and spend the next seven years developing the proper markup language to reinterpret the sounds as a binary composition.

If you don’t understand my passion and the significance of my work, you probably never will. But if you do, then you’ve come to the right place.

And please, please email me if you enjoy the museum or have any questions! I love to hear from people and need to know what gadget sounds I am missing.

Thank you!

William Goode’s Journal – Barnaby Joyce and Annabel Crabb-Kitchen Cabinet

I really wondered why Barnaby Joyce on the ABC’s “Kitchen Cabinet” with Annabel Crabb this week didn’t care more about hospitality when serving up a vegetarian with a plate of meat, and then finishing off what Ms Crabb didn’t eat (he was always going to get it). He did mention that Annabel Crabb could find food if she wished at a Chinese restaurant in St George, albeit with humour. Maybe he thought the potatoes covered it.

william goode barnaby joyce kitchen cabinet

Senator Barnaby Joyce from Queensland

Sure Annabel Crabb had a large entree of pasta (although it looked the same size as his from my TV spot) but serving up a plate of meat to a vegetarian? It’s “just not done” of course neither apparently is serving vegetarian food “just not done in” the Joyce home.

I mean what was wrong with serving up Ms Crabb with a salad along with the pasta. He obviously knew she was a vegetarian a little preparation ahead would have made Annabel Crabbs situation a lot more comfortable, although if she was bothered she didn’t show it.

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Annabel Crabb with another of her Kitchen Cabinet ” guests Joe Hockey.

The “Kitchen Cabinet” show is a good opportunity for politicians to be seen in a little more light, in more human terms away from the gladitorial look we all become used to. Barnaby Joyce came across well in many respects. He mentioned that he / others are called “hayseeds”. It’s not a term I’ve used or would, however after this show his lacking of providing a pregnant woman with a proper lunch she would enjoy in his own home, shows a lack of hospitality and thoughtfulness. What we watched isn’t going to stop people using the term “hayseed”, although they should it’s a pathetic term.

Was Barnaby very conscious of his look should he serve up a vegetarian meal? I don’t know. It obviously mattered more to him than maybe “city folk” thinking he was lacking hospitality. I’d imagine if he really did his research a lot of “country folk” would have noticed and not been happy either. Out of the many things they do well in the country is hospitality.

When you watch a show like “Kitchen Cabinet” you do hope that the politicians are taking a day off, that is the charm of it but I guess they all can’t. The meat industry, or whatever issue comes to a politicians mind, will survive another day without senators and mp’s showing who’s side they are on even when cooking in the kitchen.

I’m sure Barnaby Joyces stand raised a little laugh and a pat on the back for him from some in his home town and thereabouts, but it may not do him any favours in wider Australia. If he wishes to be a respected member of the House of Representatives then little things (not so little really) like hospitality go a long way, even in his home town I’d imagine.

Just for the record, I’m not a vegetarian and the meal Barnaby Joyce served up would have gone down a treat with me. He certainly wouldn’t be cleaning my plate up and I did enjoy Annabel Crabbs chat with him.

I can’t wait for her to have Bob Katter cook for her.

For the taste of good vegetarian food here are a few recipes for those inclined.

Kitchen Cabinet is on ABC 2 on Wednesdays at 9.30pm and Mondays at 10.30pm.

William Goode’s Journal – A change of focus

This blog is changing focus, there will still be posts on recording and  music technology, however there’s been a great deal happening economically, socially and politically over the last two or three years and much to write about. The emphasis will now be on on  politics, art and music.

Picture of William Goode

William Goode

The Outer Blue Records and Publishing releases include music, poetry, pinhole photography and art, drawings and painting. This is the current bio.

Outer Blue is an independent record and publishing label founded by William Goode.
William Goode is an Australian poet, electronic and folk musician, pinhole camera photographer and painter. He has released and recorded music under the aliases Big Moth, Calum MacDonald,The Crime Poets, The Political Cellos and of course William Goode.

His recording output has included electronic/ambient techno, folk, avant garde/experimental, electric guitar driven songs and spoken word.

William Goode poetry crosses from the avant-garde L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E (language poetry) to “Dark”, “Haiku” and “Prose”.

Electronic art is considered a result of conceptual art and is connected closely to digital art, video art and electronic music.
Examples of William Goodes electronic art can be found at the William Goode website along with his paintings.  William Goode generally uses his own photography for his album and EP releases.

William Goode is a supporter of amateurism and uninhibited responsive artistic communication considering this as leading to more spontaneous and authentic art.
Amateurism is not just considered in monetery  terms or as a measure of professionalism but as a way of thinking, of how art is undertaken, the act of the performance, the doing and the making being more or at least equally as important as the actual finished work.

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William Goode’s Journal – Bonnie Prince Billy: Live in Melbourne-Review


Bonnie Prince Billy – The National Theatre, St Kilda. Melbourne Friday 9th March 2012

Bonnie Prince Billy or Will Oldham to his family visited Melbourne once again, six years after his last visit.

This time he was supported by the beautiful voice of Angel Olsen, guitarist Emmett Kelly (Cairo gang) and drummer Van Campbell. No bass player.

On this trip the Prince is taking in a lot more venues around Australia including a Sydney Opera House show. I never thought years ago he would be playing at the opera house. He seems to be having a growing fan base which maybe tells a little of the times. Audiences are wishing for a more involved experience and a Will Oldham show is certainly that.

calum macdonald review bonnie prince billy

The National Theatre Melbourne

This is the third time I have seen a Bonnie Prince Billy performance and each time I must say I have thoroughly enjoyed it even though the performances have been varied and different.

The big difference this time are the vocals, the harmonies are much sharper and really are quite beautiful and the guitar work shamelessly magnificent. Bonnie Prince Billy still manages almost shambolic renditions of his alt country/folk, but tighter, so much tighter with this band.

The current line up adds even more depth and beauty to the songs. Will Oldhams voice just gets better and better, he soars and winds his way through tunes with abandon and almost at times you feel the song will fall apart but it never does. It’s a clever balancing act and one Will Oldham pulls off charmingly.

calum macdonald bonnie prince billy review 2012

Inside The National Theatre St Kilda Melbourne - A bit fuzzy but you get the atmosphere

Bonnie Prince Billy is here we could guess to promote his new album “Wolfroy Goes To Town” and he performs tracks from this album and also memorable tunes from his past such as the magnificent and sad “New Partner”, performed to perfection. When will a live concert DVD appear?

On his 16 albums Will Oldham has covered alt / rootsy genres such as folk, the almost country and western and bluegrass adding his own touches, changing the genres, at times understated but always worth a listen.

He has the ability to totally strip a song down to it’s bare necessity, providing only just enough instrumentation to get his point accross. It’s this stripping down that at times makes you feel the tune will grind to a halt but it hangs in and Oldham drags it back to majestic heights taking you along for the thrill, brilliant, emotional highs that leave you gasping at times.

bonnie prince billy calum macdonald review 2012

Bonnie Prince Billy - photo courtesy of Clash Music

Quail and Dumplings” from the new album “Wolfroy Goes To Town” has a tendency to make, me anyways, hungry whenever I hear it. Strange as I don’t really feel like a quail with a dumpling, and of course the poor little quails. This song though once again has the eccentric Oldham written all over it, a strange tune but then quite a lot of his material is.

You need to work at times with an Oldham song and that is where the pleasure is, you are required to take part and should you choose this path you are rewarded and rewarded time after time. Not many songwriters manage this the way Oldham does.

calum macdonald bonnie prince billy review st kilda 2012

The sun sets on The National Theatre in St Kilda and we await another Bonnie Prince Billy concert

At his best Bonnie Prince Billy can take you on an adventure, a thrill, the journey itself is what he is about, where you end up doesn’t really matter. It always is a wonderous place however, that is the pleasure of his performances.

The uncertainty, the eccentricities were all in tonights show along with absolutely beautiful renditions of older material aided marvelously by the vocals of Angel Olsen and guitarist Emmett Kelly, great vocal additions.

calum macdonald review bonnie prince billy national theatre 1

Inside The National Theatre St Kilda Melbourne

Will Oldham seemed to be enjoying himself more than in the concerts I had seen him perform previously.

The audience certainly showed their approval I can’t personally wait for his return, hopefully quicker than a wait of six years and in the meantime a live concert DVD would be nice.

Catch him at least once in your life.

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William Goode’s Journal – Quadrophenia:The Who-Review

There are albums that for some reason stand up today as much as the day they were released. An album can fall through the gap when released at a time that sees brilliance heading to your ears from all angles. This to me is one of those, it should be more than an underground recognised classic.

The Who’s Quadropheniareleased originally in 1973 and now re-released in a marvellous re-mastered deluxe edition with demos, 5.1 surround DVD mix and a book is a delight to listen to once again.

calum macdonald quadrophenia the who review 2

The Who and the mod image

It has been awhile since I had played this album and I’ve  always been fond of this work.  Overshadowed by the success of Tommyand I’ve got to say I much prefer “Quadrophenia” to “Tommy”, it’s the story of the psychological and social impacts upon a group of teenagers set in Brighton and London around 1964 / 65.

calum macdonald quadrophenia the who review

The Who

This social story for me resonated much more than the “deaf, dumb and blindboy” of Tommy. Whereas “Tommy” has some great songs it is a double album that could have told it’s story in one record. It’s success proves me wrong. The Ken Russell film, album and tours by The Who all where well accepted and no doubt put “Quadrophenia” in the shade by comparison.

calum macdonald quadrophenia the who review 3

A shot from the film Quadrophenia with Sting

“Quadrophenia” has the depth that Tommy doesn’t, the playing on this album is some of the finest The Who has ever done. Roger Daltrey is superb and that great rhythm section of Keith Moon and John Entwhistle are at there peak. Pete Townsends writing of course is amazing. His ideas are flowing towards you with every song and the whole album, even though it is a double, falls together beautifully.

The digital remastering brings clarity and spaciousness and allows the playing to shine. Any band releasing this today would be viewed as the next great thing. The Who already were a great thing and this album more than proves it.

The background of teenage angst, drugs, frustrated angry parents and the styles of the time come through bitingly.

This is a truly classic album that for most has been forgotten. If you have never heard “Quadrophenia” and wish to delve back into “mod” times this re-mastered edition is the one to get.

The Who at their pinnacle.

calum macdonald quadrophenia review the who 6

The Who logo


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William Goode’s Journal – 50 Words For Snow: Kate Bush-Review

50 Words For Snowis the new album by Kate Bush. She doesn’t tour but will she tour this new album? keep your fingers crossed, but I think they may be crossed for a long time.

This is Kate Bush’s 10th album containing what I can only describe as lovely, beautiful music. This is an artist that gets better and better and I wouldn’t be surprised taking the rigors of the road out of her life helps a great deal with maintaning the inner energy that is required to produce truly artistic work. She doesn’t get herself wound into that album touring, album touring life that so many bands need to do. Mind you she can obviously afford to do that, not everyone can.

As you might expect this is an album heavy on piano peices and such intense chordings. There is an appearance from Elton John on the track “Snowed In At Wheeler Street” I do like his voice and interesting to hear him sing someone elses melodies and lyrics. This song rises and takes you away with the performers. In fact the whole album has an ethereal feel to it, you are taken on a lush fantasy.

Another surprise appearance comes from the (popping up everywhere-and good luck to him) very talented Stephen Fry reciting the “50 Words For Snow” track, a nice touch.

calum macdonald review kate bush 50 words for snow

Kate Bush 50 Words For Snow

How Kate Bush manages to make by what is now a well heard combination of piano and vocal into something so full and still interesting as this is a measure of her talent. Bush sits on the perimeter of rock and art and then pops in at amazing speed with such dramatic albums.

Of course she is not to everyones taste, her music requires time and positioning, and by that I mean placing yourself in the moment, being with her on a journey to wherever she has set her compass. It’s not always to the stars.

And my favourite track? well I don’t have one. This is an album that is complete in its near perfection, and I say near, as perfection is in the eye (or ear in this case) of the beholder and I haven’t seen perfection yet. I guess if I was to make a negative comment about this album it would be that it is, and only a tad, overblown. There is a tendency for this to happen when artists put together work that has imagination, sensual intensity and fantasy. In other words combining many emotional aspects, getting them all to sit with meaning, a tough task to pull off respectably. Kate Bush does this well though through her weaving of jazz hints and slight electronic moments. This essentially however is a piano album and a worthy one.

The production as one might expect is second to none. I like my music very rough at times but I also appreciate the lushness that a well played, well produced album can bring to the ears and heart. The voice? well as beautiful, if not better, as ever.

And the snow? well! the backdrop of falling snow? have a listen. If you are a Kate Bush fan you won’t be dissapointed, if you are new to her albums? well you might well become one.

50 Words For Snowentered the British charts at no 5, so Kate Bush has another hit on her hands and not interested in touring as yet, although wouldn’t that be a marvellous thing.

Tracklisting:

    1. Snowflake
    2. Lake Tahoe
    3. Misty
    4. Wild Man
    5. Snowed In At Wheeler Street
    6. 50 Words For Snow
    7. Among Angels

William Goode’s Journal – Way To Blue: The Songs Of Nick Drake-Review

For those of you who are not familiar with this concert, it has been put together as a tribute to Nick Drake and his work and has been touring the UK to rave reviews.

The performers included Scritti Politti front-man Green Gartside, Vashti BunyanRobyn Hitchcock, Irish vocalist Lisa Hannigan, US soul singer Krystle Warren and Scott Matthews who won an Ivor Novello award for his own music.

Underpinning the evening was bass player Danny Thompson who was there at the beginning of folk pioneers Pentangle, he also has played bass on Nick Drakes Five Leaves Left amongst playing on an amazing amount of recordings including John Martyn, Sandy Denny, Eric Clapton, John McLaughlin, Peter Gabriel, Ralph McTell, Elvis Costello, Kate Bush, Marc Bolan, Richard Thompson, Everything But the Girl, Robert Plant, Donovan, Tim Buckley, Loudon Wainwright III, Mark Knopfler, David Sylvian, Rod Stewart, and Roy Orbison.

The Musical director is Kate St John, and musicians are Neill MacColl, Zoe Rahman, Martyn Barker and  Steve Jones plus an Australian six peice string section.

Added to the list are Australian performers Shane Nicholson from Brisbane with several acclaimed albums to his credit along with the work he has done with his wife Kasey Chambers and Melbourne folk duo Luluc singer Zoe Randell and Steve “Harmony” Hassett.

Calum MacDonald Way to Blue Nick Drake Concert Review 4

The Way to Blue artists live on stage

The music of Nick Drake has a timeless feel about it, ironic since at their release his albums sold very little (Five Leaves Left, only sold 2000 copies according to Joe Boyd) and it’s only been years later that his legacy has taken hold.

The concert “Way To Blue: The Songs Of Nick Drake” was held at the MELBOURNE RECITAL CENTRE on Monday 14 & Tuesday 15 November, I attended on a damp Tuesday night.

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The Melbourne Recital Centre

Calum MacDonald Way to Blue Nick Drake Concert Review

The Melbourne Recital Centre

The concert was a night to remember, the performances were absolutely amazing and beautiful. The songs took on another life and were not exactly how Nick Drake himself would have performed them, these artists have their own particular styles and this is what they brought to the songs. In some ways their interpretation of Nick Drakes work brought a new life to them, one I hadn’t considered possible before.

The big irony with Nick Drake is that at the time of his recordings he was not successful at all, you would not have seen the numbers of people who attend the Way To Blue concerts go out of their way to see him, unlucky them. His mixture of folk and jazz didn’t cut it with people but he was releasing records at a particularily point when Britain was moving through prog rock, heavy metal and folky wonderment, hard for even these songs apparently to stand out.

At his death in 1974 he left us just three albums, Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter and Pink Moon. All of them now held up as classics of their period. During the 80’s and 90’s he was seen as an influence on many artists as the new acoustic boom hit the music business and Nick Drakes own star began to shine.

Calum MacDonald Way to Blue Nick Drake Concert Review

The roof of The Melbourne Recital Centre - wonderful acoustics

The show has been put together by Nick Drakes original producer Joe Boyd and what a great job he has done. He has gathered a tremendous range of artists and musicians and they all do Nick Drake proud. There are times in the concert where you wish one of the performers coming on was actually Nick Drake, the night had a real element of emotion and sensitivity it all seemed as though Nick Drake was not far away at all, that he would appear the next time an artist entered the stage.

There could have been a little more audience conversation I felt from the artists, but as it was the songs were left to talk for themselves and of course Nick Drake, and this was probably the intention. Robyn Hitchcock who’s character and zaniness managed to come through just a bit, added a human component and was a nice break in the intensity of emotion that seemed to build with each performance.

Lisa Hannigan’s version of Black Eyed Dog was all foot stompin’, harmonium and memorable, almost making you wonder if it was a Nick Drake song.

The superb Krystle Warren put another aspect to Time Has Told Me. The song rose up and flew down with desire and passion, what beautiful songs Nick Drake wrote and how these varied interpretations show that.

Vashti Bunyan who made a comeback herself after giving the music business away added her own almost elf like interpretations. Her beautiful fragile voice hanging in the air as Nick Drakes poetic lyrics hung gently there with her.

Ex Scritti Politti front-man Green Gartside, who i wouldn’t have recognised looking nothing like his 80’s self was wonderful too, it was an absolute pleasure being in the same room as such magnificent performers.

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The Melbourne Recital Centre on a very wet November evening

Who sounded the most like Nick Drake? well for me Scott Mathews was uncannily Nick Drake, beautiful wispy interpretations. But this was not a copy Nick Drakes vocal style night, every artist brought something new to this wonderful night of magic.

One of the highlights of the show were the Australian performers LULUC (Zoë Randell and Steve Hassett) and Shane Nicholson whos interpretations were spot on, they easily held their own in such glorious professional company. They are world class and deserve all the success they can get.

Robert Kirby who died in 2009 was the original arranger on the orchestral parts for Nick Drakes albums and his original scores were used and beautifully played by the Australian string section.

The last song of the night was an ensemble version of Pink Moon done as all the other songs were with delicacy, feeling and empathy.

A fitting tribute and a show that held up wonderfully in it’s own right, marvelous performances that will last within me for years to come, exceptional.

Nick Drake would have been proud and had he lived I’m sure he would have been up there doing it all himself, as it is we have his legacy, one that will last forever.


William Goode’s Journal – Noah And The Whale: Last Night on Earth-Review

For those who have come to Noah and The Whale through their first two albums Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down (2008) and The First Days of Spring (2009) Last Night on Earthwill be a different listening experience for you.

Gone are the indie folk almost dark sounds replaced with an upbeat shall I say, radio friendly bunch of tunes.
Charlie Fink’s vocals still have the same quality, although not as quirkily folky, the stripped down acoustic instrumentation of the first two albums is substituted by a more full, produced band sound.

The songs are catchy enough and lyrically the turns of phrase are still there, if not as left of centre. The band on
this album appear to be leaving the indie folk label behind for at least the time being.

I can see these songs fitting in well with material from the earlier albums in live performance, however as an album I would love to hear some of the more darker aspects that lay within that earlier material interspersed with some of these newer tracks.

It’s a hard thing matching the odd gloomy lyric with an up tempo tune but not impossible and to some extent the band pull this off. The song arrangements which have always been a strong point of this band are still prominently well done here.

An artist has to progress within themselves, there will be those who will embrace this new direction and others who will yearn for the sounds of the first two albums.

Either way Noah and The Whale have managed to hang on to their integrity even with this change in direction.



William Goode’s Journal – Superheavy: Superheavy-Review

What do you get when you get some of the biggest selling artists, writers and musicians and produce an album, well you get a very professional sound with well produced songs, well hopefully.

Superheavyis the result of a collaboration between Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart, reggae star (son of Bob Marley) Damian Marley, Bollywood composer who has sold squillions A.R.Rahman and soul singer Joss Stone. The album is a combination of FM rock, reggae and throw in some bollywood styles and you have the album. Now the problem with this is that you risk seperating your audience into three. Just as you are getting into reggae along comes some rock and then bollywood.

For me the combination although well produced, you cannot fault the production or musicianship, becomes a little wearing. The songs themselves are catchy but could still do with a little more pizazz.

On “One Day One Night” Mick Jaggers vocals are appealing. They weave about like he is singing this song at 3am in the morning, it’s definately interesting. The album is not dominated by Jagger and for me he adds a little colour to the songs. The other performances are second to none but if you like a little roughness in your tunes then luckily Jagger is part of the project.

The thing that makes the Rolling Stones so great is the almost live sound they create, Keith Richards slight out of tune chordings fit Jaggers lyrical style and vocals perfectly. Maybe this is the problem here, Jaggers clubby rock / blues voice doesn’t suit at times. You really feel this with the track “Never Gonna Change”, a very reminicent intro to Wild Horses and for me this pulling back is welcome. The album could have done with more tracks like this but then that wouldn’t have been the same venture that they set out to do.

There is the feeling here that this combination of  rock, reggae and bollywood may have just been pulled off and I think it could have if wasn’t for the very classy production. I get the feeling that the initial ideas would have been a lot more culturally adhesive in the performers heads. At the end of the day this is a hard album to review as it is actually well done and I think there will be people who will like this but for me the styles clash too much.

Individually there are some quite beautiful parts to the songs. There is a song in Urdu which has a lovely intro but turns into a big rock number with a fiddle, another change of direction which in this case is mid song.

The synthy track  “Energy” has a rap from Mick Jagger, well why not, I think they all had fun.

Listen to Superheavyfor yourselves you probably won’t hear Jagger rapping again in the near future, not if Keith Richards and the rest of the Rolling Stones have anything to do with it.

William Goode’s Journal – Ryan Adams: Ashes and Fire – Review


Ryan Adams known for his work with the alt country band The Cardinals has released the solo album
Ashes & Fire.

The album is produced by legendary producer Glyn Johns who has worked with Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Midnight Oil, Eric Clapton and The Eagles just to name a few.

Glyn John’s production is spotless and the songs and instrumentation are given plenty of space to move, a well made record and dare I say it, may be too well made.

The first track “Dirty Rain” reminds me of the rhythm section from Neil Young’s “Old Man”. There is the same pace, the sparseness and tempo that Old Man has. Not a bad sound to have and with Glyn Johns at the wheel the production feels as if you may just be in the room with the band.  As Adams sings “Last time he was here it was raining, it ain’t raining anymore” there are some nice organ touches that move in and out with the clarity that this album has for each instrument that appears, nothing out of place.

The album does cross over into territory from the 70’s, Neil Young, The Eagles and even what seems to be a little reminder of Bruce Springsteen in “Lucky Now” but in a more restrained manner.

The track “Rocks” reminds me of a James Taylor acoustic intro. A lazy tempo leading up to an appearance of strings later in the song. Another nice tune and Adams sings it well as he does on all the tracks.

Below is a link to the Ashes and Fire acoustic promo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4VGlkcBtfw

“Do I Wait” has the band taking off for the first time as Adams sings “do I wait for you” and maybe this is where you feel at times you would like to see the album head. If there was a little more frantic playing , some risks taken with the vocals then maybe this album would grip you more. There’s an impression happening here that letting things rip a bit would just bring this album closer to the edge for the listener.

“Invisible Riverside” sees Adams singing “standin by the ocean like I’m freezing here in time” with some nice electric piano as he laments “not let go don’t change your mind”

With “Save Me” we enter ballad territory, a nice melody, acoustic guitar, piano and organ backing all done sparingly and with style. This has the feel and sound of a Jackson Browne track. Adams sings “what am I doing here, what am I” all questions we’ve all had and then, “somebody save me, it’s just too much pain” more introspection, more wondering.

Ashes & Fire isn’t a bad album. I really wished that it wasn’t so perfect in production and instrumentation, but that’s just me I like a rough edge.

I’ve listened to this album several times and there were quite a few moments where I felt I was listening to the artists mentioned earlier in this review. Not a bad thing, maybe not particularly an original sound, however I’m sure these new songs will appeal too many. I can’t help feeling though that Ryan Adams has more individualism in him than these current songs are showing.

This album may gain plenty of radio airplay, I’m sure there will be a great many people who will like this. Lovers of that American 70’s Neil Young / Jackson Browne era will understand and feel comfortable with the album.

For me, well I did enjoy the experience of listening to the album. I would like to see more risks taken, I like to find new parts to an album each time I listen, new noises and little mistakes that all add to the experience an album can bring.

Ashes and Fire lays it all out on the line for you straight away, and if you like your music like this then you will enjoy the new Ryan Adams album.

There are no risks here as Adams sings gently, songs of introspection and of waiting for a loved one.

I look forward to his next release, I wouldn’t be surprised if it has more edge.