Ryan Adams & The Cardinals: Follow the Lights (EP)

Releasing one, two and sometimes three studio albums a year, with albums of unreleased material waiting to see store and iTune shelves, Ryan Adams has been criticized for his prolific outbursts. However for every brilliant Cold Roses there is a "did we really need this" 29.  With the Follow the Lights EP, Adams has released perhaps his most unblemished recording since Gold

The opening title track and “My Love For You Is Real” are two dreamy ballads that mimic studio perfection. “Blue Hotel,” which Willie Nelson last year recorded for his Adams-produced Songbird album, is effortlessly soulful.  And you have to hand it to Adams for choosing to cover Alice In Chains’ “Down in a Hole,” which considering his recent battles with substances and depression, is made poignant. 

The last three tracks are in studio live takes from Ryan’s earlier catalogue: "This Is It" (Rock’n’ Roll) the excellent "I Am a Stranger" (from Cold Roses) and "Dear John", sans Norah Jones (from Jacksonville City Lights), which with its elegant execution makes Follow the Lights a seven song keeper.

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