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Jacksonville City Nights

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Ryan Adams has always used country music as a flavoring agent in his sonic gumbo, but on this, his fifth post-Whiskeytown album, he makes it the main ingredient -- a choice that's both tantalizing and earthily satisfying. The disc is laced with memories -- more bitter than sweet -- of his North Carolina hometown, a burg that revolves around a military base, hardly the sort of spot one would expect Adams to flourish in. Not only does Jacksonville give the album its title, it imbues one of its finest songs, the poignant "The End," with wistful sepia tones. There's a good bit of melancholy on display here, from the Faron Young?styled "My Heart Is Broken" to the ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Ryan Adams has always used country music as a flavoring agent in his sonic gumbo, but on this, his fifth post-Whiskeytown album, he makes it the main ingredient -- a choice that's both tantalizing and earthily satisfying. The disc is laced with memories -- more bitter than sweet -- of his North Carolina hometown, a burg that revolves around a military base, hardly the sort of spot one would expect Adams to flourish in. Not only does Jacksonville give the album its title, it imbues one of its finest songs, the poignant "The End," with wistful sepia tones. There's a good bit of melancholy on display here, from the Faron Young–styled "My Heart Is Broken" to the deceptively upbeat piano choogler "A Kiss Before I Go," but Adams's expressive singing and no-nonsense lyrics stay on the right side of the line that separates the mope-rock boys from the down-but-not-out C&W men. To his credit, Adams never sounds like a day-tripper in these environs: Whether duetting with Norah Jones on the hazy "Dear John" -- which splits the difference between Nancy Sinatra/Lee Hazlewood and Tammy Wynette/Porter Wagoner -- or strafing against a keening fiddle on "The Hardest Part," he sounds like he's pouring out his heart, not merely playing the role of country crooner. Nashville, and the rest of the music world, could learn a lot from that.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Ever since the big, splashy Gold failed to make Ryan Adams an all-conquering superstar -- it bolstered his reputation as a rock critic darling, but never had the sales to match the press -- he's retreated to genre exercises, beginning with the sleek modern rock of 2003's Rock N Roll and its moody alt-rock counterpart, Love Is Hell, carrying through to his Neil Young/Grateful Dead pastiche on his spring 2005 double album, Cold Roses, and now its autumn sequel, Jacksonville City Nights. Arriving a little over four months after Cold Roses as the second installment of a planned trilogy of 2005 releases, Jacksonville City Nights -- which at one point was going to be called the less-evocative but calendar-specific September -- is Adams' straight-up, straight-ahead country album, a lean 46-minute collection of 14 songs designed for late-night drinking. While the terrific cover art deliberately echoes classic '60s country LPs, the sound of the album isn't quite as honky tonk as that suggests, thanks to a handful of brooding numbers like "September" that are too introspective, lyric-centered, and light on melody to truly qualify as classicist country. These are the weakest moments here, but they're also the exception to the rule, since most of the songs here represent a number of classic country archetypes, from the opening pair of barroom anthems, "A Kiss Before I Go" and "The End," to his "Dear John" duet with Norah Jones or the light hillbilly swagger of the galloping "Trains" and how "My Heart Is Broken" is sweetened by just enough swings to give it a candy coating but not enough to turn it into countrypolitan schmaltz. As good as these cuts sound, it's still hard not to shake the suspicion that Ryan Adams is primarily a pastiche artist, since it's not only easy to spot influences throughout the album, but because the atmosphere of the record makes more of an impression than the individual songs. That said, Jacksonville City Nights still ranks as one of Adams' stronger albums, not just because he's returning to his rootsy roots -- after all, this isn't alt-country, this is pure country -- but because it maintains a consistent mood, is tightly edited and well sequenced, and thanks to the Cardinals, has the easy assurance of Cold Roses, which is preferable to the somewhat desperate feel of the records immediately following Heartbreaker. It may not all add up to a major statement, which is something Gold and Rock N Roll aspired to be, but it surely makes for a more likeable and ultimately more listenable album.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/27/2005
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • UPC: 602498806548
  • Catalog Number: 000470702
  • Sales rank: 48,420

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 A Kiss Before I Go (2:05)
  2. 2 The End (3:44)
  3. 3 Hard Way to Fall (4:06)
  4. 4 Dear John (4:36)
  5. 5 The Hardest Part (2:52)
  6. 6 Games (2:11)
  7. 7 Silver Bullets (2:56)
  8. 8 Peaceful Valley (3:42)
  9. 9 September (2:30)
  10. 10 My Heart Is Broken (2:14)
  11. 11 Trains (4:08)
  12. 12 PA (3:52)
  13. 13 Withering Heights (2:53)
  14. 14 Don't Fail Me Now (4:27)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ryan Adams & the Cardinals Primary Artist
David Angell Violin
Carl Gorodetzky Violin
Jim Grosjean Viola
Bob Hoffnar Pedal Steel Guitar
Julia Kent Cello
Bob Mason Cello
Joe McGinty Piano
The Nashville String Machine Track Performer
Pamela Sixfin Violin
Alan Umstead Violin
Catherine Umstead Violin
Gary VanOsdale Viola
Mary Kathryn Van Osdale Violin
Bergen White Conductor
Kris Wilkinson Viola
Jon Graboff Pedal Steel Guitar, Background Vocals, Various, Group Member
Glenn Patscha Piano, Background Vocals
Ryan Adams Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Vocals, Group Member, Indexed Contributor
Connie Ellison Violin
Carole Rabinowitz-Neuen Cello
Claudia Chopek Violin
Norah Jones Piano, Vocals
Byron Isaacs Background Vocals
J.P. Bowersock Electric Guitar, Group Member
David Gold Violin, Viola
Catherine Popper Bass, Keyboards, Background Vocals, Group Member
Michael Panes Violin
Brad Pemberton Drums
Technical Credits
Fred Kevorkian Mastering
Bergen White String Arrangements
Tom Schick Producer, Engineer, Audio Production
Jon Graboff Composer
Ryan Adams Composer, Art Direction
Caitlin Cary Composer
Norah Jones Composer
J.P. Bowersock Composer
Catherine Popper Composer
Tom Gloadly Producer, Engineer
Michael Panes Composer
Andy West Art Direction
Brad Pemberton Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

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2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Ryan channels Gram Parsons

    If you love classic '60s and early '70s country-rock, you'll love this. Adam's brings the twang of the Flying Burrito Brothers back in a legit fashion. Solid, heartfelt lyrics and awesome production.
    Buy this, and be transported back to a time when music still had roots.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Ryan Adams at his best!

    A record that is near perfect. Ryan and the Cardnials are superb on this record, highlights are 'A Kiss Before I Go', 'The End', 'Oh John' and 'Trains'.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews