As someone who's loved Ryan's rock 'n' roll since I saw Whiskeytown make a big rock noise in a tiny alt club back in '97, I think this is his best solo album yet. Those who cavil about Ryan stealing from U2, The Smiths & (as always) The Replacements are missing the point: those were great riffs in 1986, and they'll be great riffs in 2020. Those who worry that sensitive boy poet Ryan isn't here are missing the point: even if the counter-balancing Love is Hell EPs aren't enough, he'll be back with your precious Heartbreaker 2.0 soon enough. Until then, the rest of us can dig things like the guitar hook at the end of "1974," the Bono piss-takes in "So Alive," "Luminol" & "Burning Photographs" and the sheer melodic power of "Do Miss America," & "Note to Self: Don't Die" and "The Drugs Not Working."
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This document HTMLized 10 December 2003
I was listening to Grandpaboy -- Dead Man Shake