I am constantly in search of sounds to soothe me or shake me or stir something enough to raise the mountains on my skin and I find it less often than I like. However, there is a recent record called big colours that does something entirely different. Draped in the nostalgia of eighties rock, Big Colours is the eighteenth solo effort from singer, songwriter, Ryan Adams. It is impressive enough when the words 'eighteenth solo effort' appear but even more impressive when you realise it is a good record. And good is the scratch on the surface. Good is like calling a microwave ready meal hot when radioactive would fit the bill a lot better. From the first track to the last, every track knows the language of mountains. Every track is a goosebump charmer knowing how to coax them to the surface in a dozen different ways. ‘Showtime’ with its catchy hook and string arrangement, ‘Big Colours’ with its high keys and strong pitches and the ‘What Am I’ acoustic musings. It is rare for a record like Big Colours to come around. Strange for guitars to be played in such a way that makes you feel relieved with every note, with every hit of a drum feel a bad thought evaporate the way a ghost does when introduced to iron or snow, a flame thrower. Ryan Adams new ways to use his voice on this record, mixing larger sounds with small ones and mastering the balance of conquering. 'Manchester' in poetic form, is an ode and the best way I can explain anything Ryan does is poetically. Even when the sounds are miles away from peaceful and the roof is at risk of being rocked off, the instrumentals still manage to be strangely poetical. Nothing on the record is by chance, it's thought through and masterful. Imagine a pirate ship under attack, Ryan is the captain of the ship knowing exactly when to tell his crewmates to make the cannons go off. Big colours is a victory. It is a record to reshape your sadness into something manageable, into something you believe is defeatable. It holds nothing back. And I would be amazed if there was anybody who couldn't gain something from this album. I talk a lot about mental health and one of my common coping methods is music. My favourite music is based on things that reach in like cement to all the rubble and beging the rebuilding. It has been a month now and every track still soothes me, still stirs and shakes and I have been itching to talk about this record but forced myself to wait because this next statement is a biggie. Big Colours is the greatest thirty-nine minutes of music I have ever heard. It is suitable for any occasion and any mood. And even on the days I want to bathe in my silence and wallow, Big Colours somehow fits there too. It is perfect that the album ends raining, ends with the sounds of release and the freedom of pouring because that's exactly what this record is. I trip up a little when discussing it because I honestly struggle to find the words. So listen and see why. Listen and set yourself free. I'm just dreaming in big colours now, and you should be too.
Spell it wrong,
luv or love,
it's still you
A silly little 3x3 playing on the variants of colour and color (Sort of but not at all. Okay it was a stretch)
Cog Pusher (subscriber only)
This week is a thinker. I'll share mine Friday. Share yours too!
gif o clock
spin the whole record and regret nothing
See you on the other side, wub lubs (new word for homies)