Why, when we have Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones and Joni Mitchell, do we need a younger, sexier version who can do uncannily accurate impressions of them all? Er, maybe that is the point of Ryan Adams - in which case this collection of suspiciously well-recorded "demos" won't disappoint critics and fans who adored 2001's Gold. Demolition throws a few more heroes on to the pile: Desire sounds like, er, Desire by U2; turgid rocker Gimme a Sign is more Bry Adams than Ry. However, Dear Chicago and Cry on Demand are glorious, a blackly humorous suicide anthem and beautifully spiteful ballad respectively. When Adams quits the musical iconography and reveals more of his intimate self, he gets on to something. Presumably, fans of the copyist old Ryan will start to complain.
Dave Simpson is a Guardian music critic and author