A couple of days ago, Ryan Adams pretended to quit blogging – or perhaps be was serious but he’s come back now – and left a video clip as a parting gift to his fans. In it, he performed a rough version of a song he had earlier announced as having just written for his next album and so honest that it could be his best ever. It has since been taken down, but not before I heard it.
Adams is one of few performers I know that can sit down and perform a song straight to mic and have it sound good enough to go on a CD I’d willingly pay for. Maybe its because his sound works best when a little ragged around the edges, but that doesn’t change anything. Funnily enough, Prince, whose prolificity is most closely rivaled by Adams, is another such performer. But whereas I’ve been let down by Prince before, Adams has always delivered incredible music, even in the hundreds of outtakes from the shells of unreleased albums he’s littered all over the Internet (I think there were at least ten albums last year).
Anyway, back to the song. I’m writing this on my iPod touch which might not last much longer.
It was called “Crossed-Out Name”, and beautiful despite the raised expectations. I wish you could hear it. I might post a rip later on my Muxtape. From what the gossip blogs have been saying, his last relationship didn’t end too well, and in the two weeks that I’ve followed his blog, he worked like a maniac writing several songs a day, making short films, and posting to his blog like ten times a day. And then one night he said he was going to try and write some flat-out honest songs and came back with “Crossed-Out Name”. It’s an analogy that should make me cringe, but instead it just kills.
I wish I could tell you just how I felt
I don’t pray, I shower and say goodnight to myself
And when I close my eyes
I feel like a page
With a crossed-out name
Anyone who’s ever been left or broken up with has got to feel a line like that.