Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ryan Adams - "Petal In A Rainstorm"

Last week Ryan Adams dropped his much-anticipated record Ashes And Fire, and like many, we were more than a little excited.  So excited, in fact, that we went all-in and bought the super-deluxe edition of the record.  Not only were we amped to support Adams in his latest venture with PaxAm records, but the record also came with a cool flexi-disc featuring "Petal In A Rainstorm".

The flexi-disc is a "technology" that was invented in the heyday of the vinyl era, intended to allow delivery of music, minus the heft of a giant vinyl disc.  Sound quality is certainly questionable, but the low-fi vibe and the history of the format as one typical to fan club "exclusives" made it all the more attractive to us.  Put differently: we can't ignore a good nostalgia trip.

But, to the point: the track is outstanding.  Amidst the gentle hum of the flexi-disc's static, the song is Adams at his very best: simple, yet perfectly melodic, and all over a gently loping beat.  The arrangement is slowly built up over a bass, drum kit, and organ, until it ends almost as quickly as it has begun.

The flexi-disc is a terribly fragile technology, which wears out after only a handful of playbacks.  Thankfully, there's digital recording to the rescue, and our copy can remain (relatively) unscathed, despite our love of the song. So have a listen, and don't be afraid to play it a second time, or a third.  For once, digital is your friend.

mp3: Ryan Adams - Petal In A Rainstorm