Track Review: Ryan Adams, “Gimme Something Good”


Ryan Adams Gimme Something Good
When was the last time Ryan Adams really rocked? Was it 2010’s Orion, a collision of sci-fi plot lines and heavy metal riffage that was well-intentioned but somewhat hard to take, especially when the album had Dungeons & Dragons – worthy song titles like “Ghorgon, Master of War?” Or maybe III/IV, an odds-and-ends collection of tunes originally recorded during the same sessions that produced 2007’s Easy Tiger? Adams’ last studio album, Ashes & Fire, was arguably the most gorgeous – and definitely the most serious – of the bunch, but it lacked the pure, purposeful rock & roll of his earlier albums, leaving some fans to wonder if the clean ‘n’ sober Ryan had forgotten the simple joy of plugging in and turning up.

Well, he hasn’t. “Gimme Something Good,” his first release in two years, is loud and lovely, shot through with minor-key guitar riffs and swirls of B3 organ that worship at the altar of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. There’s an ’80s vibe to the chorus, an anthemic, fist-pumping quality that suggests he’s back to writing songs for the arena, not the coffeehouse. An acoustic guitar pops up during the chorus (and later resurfaces during the bridge), but “Gimme Something Good” gets most of its horsepower from the electric instruments, which Adams slathers in reverb and high-gain grit. Want something good? To quote the man himself, this is it.


  1. I can’t believe how good this is! I’m a massive DRA fan but recent efforts left me with the exact same sentiment about clean and sober Ryan potentially being past his prime and it broke my heart but I’d basically put it to bed. This makes me so happy I have no words! :’)

  2. “… swirls of B3 organ that worship at the altar of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers”

    With that piece of rock journalism you win the Captain Obvious award. Why? Who could be playing organ on this song? Benmont Tench of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers fame.

  3. Adams is hands down my longest lasting songwriting influence and go-to-artist for any mood I’m in. I’ve learned to release expectations for what he’s going to do next, and by doing that have enjoyed just about everything he’s ever done (couldn’t quite do the sci-fi metal, but I respect it!). This track sounds fresh, alive, and rooted in all the best musical places Adams pulls from. Makes me just as excited as I was when I first heard Cold Roses. Looking forward to the new album.

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