Thursday, June 24, 2010

Ryan Adams - Orion

Of all of the stuff I've posted on here, my Ryan Adams post gets the most traffic. I often wonder why it's so popular and what people are actually searching for when they stumble upon my little post. In my head, I'm imagining that they're googling "awesome" or "amazing" or "genius" and my Ryan Adams post shows up at the top of the list.

Sometime last year, Ryan Adams asked his fans, via his website, to listen to a song and then asked them to vote if they'd actually buy an album full of songs like this. Intriguied, I gave the tune a listen and was very surprised. Metal? Really? Would I buy it? You bet your ass. Apparently, everyone else felt the same way I did because in May, Ryan released his science fiction, concept metal album, Orion. This certainly isn't the Ryan Adams you know and love.

At first, I couldn't even begin to wrap my mind around the idea. After mulling it over a bit, it started to make sense. Ryan is a huge metal fan. It was just hard for me to envision him screaming or grunting.

But this album isn't full of screaming and grunting. There are definitely thrashy metal guitars and screaming (which Ryan is surprisingly good at), but he works his way all over the place. It's rock. It's metal. It's punk. It's hardcore. It's awesome. "Electro Snake" and "Victims of the Ice Brigade" both have that Ryan Adams flavor that I love. And "By Force" sounds like Black Sabbath and the Rolling Stones had a space baby.

Metal purists will probably hate this album...although they do enjoy songs about vikings and dragons, so they could possibly appreciate songs about space. I certainly know people who don't appreciate Ryan Adams the way I do, and I'm convinced it's because they don't "get" him. If you don't get him, then you won't get this album. You can't take it seriously; he's trying to have some fun and incorporate some music that he loves but doesn't necessarily get a chance to play very often. I mean, he's got a song called "Ghorgon Master of War" for crying out loud and he screams, "Ghorgon!!!" a couple times on the album. How can you not get a chuckle out of that?

If you're predisposed to hating Ryan Adams, then skip Orion. It'll probably just piss you off and make you want to punch babies. If you're open to a musical experient from a musical genius, then give Orion a try. I personally think this alt country crooner did a damn fine job of executing some metal mayhem.

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