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Ryan Adams: Meadowlake Street

I now come to the part of this week I’ve been dreading, which is why I figured I’d get it over with sooner rather than later. In general, I was a bit uneasy having to select songs from the rock/pop realm. I have very varied tastes, how am I supposed to choose just a couple? I had to be careful because I tend to go overboard on a particular band I discover before discarding them completely (current obsessions include indie groups Alvvays and Big Thief). One thing, however, was certain: there would undoubtedly be a song from Ryan Adams… but which one? In many ways it’s the equivalent of a hardcore Beatles fan having to choose a single tune that sums up their feelings. Ryan is incredibly prolific: eighteen studio albums, scores of unreleased material that he teases on occasion, and singles albums he was recording and releasing monthly just a couple years ago.

His music has accompanied me everywhere I’ve been since I first heard him about fifteen years ago. He continues to amaze me with his constantly-evolving style and his continual growth as an artist and a musician. Today, I’ve chosen “Meadowlake Street” from, arguably his greatest album, Cold Roses.

The repeated lyric “if loving you’s a dream that’s not worth having.. then why do I dream of you?” is set so beautifully and the almost intentionally muddy and approximate three-part harmony on its final appearance is just the icing on the cake. For years now this song has been rather therapeutic for me. Following a performance that didn’t go as I expected or when battling a bout of homesickness or missing my girlfriend, I would listen to this on the train or the walk home.

He’s an artist I would highly recommend to anyone unfamiliar with his music (for fun, check out his cover of Taylor Swift’s entire ‘1989’ album!) A dream was realized this summer when I finally saw him in concert. I’ve lost track of how many times I narrowly missed seeing him due to traveling for work. It was sensational. OK.. more tomorrow. Time for bed.

Ryan Adams “Meadowlake Street”

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