it's funny. country is the genre of music that, like, the world is told to hate. and even if one does hate it from the bottom of their heart, if you're a real music lover, a lover of any fuckin' melody, despite what genre its in, is bound to unexpectedly like something like it that comes along. it's strange but not so strange that i really love this record. even as i'd never loved real country music, and hadn't ever listened to any Gram Parsons records or anything. ryan adams to me was the kind of artist that i can't really relate to when i first got into him, which was only about a couple of months ago (and i still can't to a certain extent). he's too eclectic, in a really bad way. gold has it's really good songs, and then songs that just don't speak to me. and rock n roll is just a jumble of rock n roll. with also a few sparks of goodness. i heard love is hell and was confused.. like.. "what genre is this guy? and why can't he just pick one?" (although i really love love is hell). then i heard cold roses and my pov changed. as Stephen Thomas Erlewine said on his allmusic review, "It's an assured, comfortable collection of 18 songs that play to Adams' strengths because they capture him not trying quite so hard." and i got that the second i read it. i'm no ryan expert, but i got that. he wasn't trying so hard and it was utterly and audibly evident. he was in a groove and it must've been the whole band thing. and then comes jacksonville. a record that, fan or not, if you listen to, you know comes from ryans heart. he's not trying to be cheeky or anything of the sort. he's writing music the way his heart would. so i ask the people that kind of like him, like polkablues, to really give it a shot. cause this record, in my mind, is undoubtably his best yet. as for squints, you like wilco and that's cool, as do i. but ryan, in essence, as shit to do with what tweedy and the guys are doing. listen to "the end" off the new record, or a really superb song called "firecracker" off his sophemore record Gold. if you don't like these songs, ryans not for you. maybe not just yet, maybe not ever.