Though Ashes and Fire has some stunning acoustic gems and extensive help from the beautiful Norah Jones, Adams doesn’t quite hold up to his pre-hiatus candor and clarity. The album is a without a doubt a folk-rock, easy-listening dream reminiscent of Heartbreaker (his solo debut), but it doesn’t quite have the bite and consistent intensity I’ve come to expect. Adams traded his wild, cocaine-addicted past for his nuptials to Mandy Moore- probably a good life decision but I’m not sure it did much for his music. Still, the album is pretty great and highly recommended.
Indie folk meets late ‘90s alt radio rock- I’m talking Fastball with maybe a little Cat Stevens thrown in. Track #8 is so innocent it’s almost virginal. So break out your olive oil and shed some ironic tears to the sweet sounds of 30-something white hipster ennui. In all seriousness though, it’s a highly listenable record, these guys have their sound honed.