by Sabrina Biot
Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams
Universal Music Canada

The best way to describe Ryan Adam’s Prisoner is something between 80s power ballads and indie music with some new-country undertones. Accompanied with some well-written emotional lyrics about love and heartbreak, Prisoner makes for a solid album.

Former Whiskeytown band member, Ryan Adams, isn’t new to the music scene. He’s already got 15 albums under his belt as a solo artist, and is also known as a poet and painter. Adams has also produced music for big names like Willie Nelson, Fall Out Boy, and Weezer. With so much experience under his belt, it’s no wonder Adams has created an album of this quality.

As mentioned before, there’s a bit of a classic rock feel to this album, and sometimes it boarders on country music. The real nice touch to this album is the use of the harmonica in “Doomsday” and the synth in several others. They compliment the songs well, giving them that extra ‘oomph.’

What’s also a great part of the album is how different each song is while being consistent in theme. It’s one thing to have songs that sound different but describe the same few aspects of desire and yearning, but it’s another to have each song describe something new. Adams does this well with his poetic lyrics, refraining from too much repetition and similarity.

Do You Still Love Me?” really sticks out, being as heavy and full of soul as it is. It’s easy to relate to, being in a situation in which someone may question their stance in a relationship. The feelings of loss and nostalgia in “Haunted House” is bitter sweet, compared to the similarities in “Shiver and Shake”, which are nostalgic and somber. “Outbound Train” has some country undertones with twangy, but it really does compliment the album well.

Adams’ ability to capture emotional experiences through poetic lyrics and turn them into moving pieces is clear. With a collection of songs like this it’s easy for any listener to relate, making Prisoner an album worth listening to.

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