Personnel: Ryan Adams (vocals, electric guitar, guitar, harmonica, piano, synthesizer, bass, programming); Brad Rice (electric guitar); Bucky Baxter (guitar, pedal steel guitar, background vocals); John Paul Keith (guitar); Chris Stills (12 string acoustic guitar, background vocals); Greg Leisz (steel guitar, dobro); Bucky Baxter (pedal steel guitar); Michael Nord Andersson (dobro); Ethan Johns (ukelele, bass, drums); Svante Henryson (cello); Chris Stills (Hammond B-3 organ); Billy Mercer, Sheldon Gomberg (bass); Brad Pemberton (drums); Michael Blair (djembe); Juliana Raye (background vocals).
Producers indlude: Ryan Adams, Frank Callari, Luke Lewis, Michael Blair, Ethan Johns.
Recorded at Woodland and Javelina Studios, Nashville, Tennessee; Cello Studios, Hollywood, California and Nord Studio AB, Stockholm, Sweden between December 2000 and October 2001.
As part of the prolific flow of material that found him releasing three albums in two years, ex-Whiskeytown frontman Ryan Adams continued to surf his wave of popularity with 2002's DEMOLITION, a baker's dozen worth of demos. Culled from five separate demo recording sessions, these songs find Adams all over the stylistic map indulging in some twangy, pedal-steel-soaked tendencies ("Hallelujah"), making like Paul Westerberg with a Byrds Jones ("Gimme A Sign"), and tucking into echoey ballads ("Dear Chicago").
Adams also delicately duets with fellow y'alternative stalwart Gillian Welch ("Tomorrow"), mixes it up with Dylan's pedal steel player Bucky Baxter ("Chin Up, Cheer Up"), and still manages to get the girls to swoon on solo-acoustic odes laced with plenty of yearning and a forlorn harmonica solo ("Desire"). Until Adams finds time to bang out another double album in-between touring, rubbing elbows with Elton John, and curing cancer, DEMOLITION makes a fine stopgap for both diehard and casual fans.
Rolling Stone (12/26/02, p.102) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Best Albums of 2002"
Rolling Stone (10/3/02, p.99) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Unified by his gift for melody, the theme of heartbreak and his adenoidal vocal resemblance to Paul Simon....the ballads are much better than the rockers..."
Spin (1/03, p.72) - Ranked #33 on Spin's list of 2002's "Albums of the Year"
Spin (11/02, p.119) - 7 out of 10 - "...Adams at his soulful, hyperstudious peak..."
Entertainment Weekly (10/4/02, pp.150,153) - "...Dominated by intentionally underproduced acoustic ballads...Adams is very adept at this genre....[The music] wafts in the air and settles gently on the furniture..." - Rating: B-
Q (10/02, p.101) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...An album largely split between moments of hushed intimacy and gonzoid rockers....it sounds like Adams is auditioning to be the next John Cougar Mellencamp..."
Uncut (1/03, p.94) - Ranked #13 in Uncut's "100 Best Albums of the Year"
Uncut (10/02, p.100) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...DEMOLITION is further proof that his creative instincts are still intact..."
CMJ (9/30/02, p.6) - "Adams commands each musical style with ease and authority....the quality of the material makes it hard to believe these songs are all untouched demos..."
Mojo (Publisher) (1/03, p.74) - Ranked #22 in Mojo's "Best Albums of 2002"
Mojo (Publisher) (10/02, p.92) - "...A fine, multi-faceted album with very little surplus."
NME (Magazine) (9/21/02, p.39) - 8 out of 10 - "DEMOLITION finds Ryan Adams in a fittingly traditional musical setting--at a crossroads."