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Ashes and Fire by by Ryan Adams

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Ashes and Fire, folk-rocker Ryan Adams’s 13th studio recording, is aptly named; nearly every song explores the “ashes” of past tenderness or pain from a present of burning uncertainty. “I don’t remember were we wild and young? / all that’s faded into memory,” he sings. Similar self-doubt appears throughout—yet even these lyrics are delivered in slow, soulful vocals. This is music of patient contemplation, not restless self-pity, and is thoughtful right down to its creative blend of soft percussion, piano, and gently twangy guitar. (PaxAm Records)

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