Review: Chris by Ryan Adams

Fans who have been following Ryan Adams on Instagram have been privy to live performances, live art performances, his personal struggles as well as following him on his sober journey. 27 weeks as of 26-March. Congratulations on your milestone sir.

Ryan recently announced several shows in May in NYC and Boston to his Instagram followers, but on Friday, via his PAX-AM label, Ryan Adams released a double album simply called Chris.

Ryan said this on his Instagram:

I am very grateful for you all, this album about what my life was like during the time of losing my brother and so many other things. Thank you for being the kindest best fans ever.

Ryan Adams

It’s his 19th studio album and his latest, since 2021’s Big Colours and in plain and simple terms, it’s fucking good.

Totalling 18 tracks (19 tracks for those who grab the album from his website) and clocking in just under one hour, Chris is an emotional journey of loss, love, lessons, and everything between.

The emotional title track “Chris”, a conversation or a stream of conscious from Ryan towards his brother, is a recount of things he missed or what those left behind are experiencing. For those who have lost someone, this song will hit you in the gut. It’s emotional, beautiful, and expresses the dark sadness that hangs heavy on a heart after someone crosses.

What I really enjoy is that this album caters to all my “this is my favourite” Ryan style(s) or sound(s). As a fan listening to this album, I know it is for his fans all the while being a cathartic release for him. Ryan isn’t trying to cater to anyone new nor is he catering to anyone who left him by the wayside or dismissed him.

It’s Ryan, baring and creating from a soul that has learned and is still learning. A soul that has grown and is still growing.

As he sings in the bonus track “Don’t Follow”, …it’s not like I’m done, I just don’t know how to belong… the good news for fans, is that Chris shows them he’s not done and that even if you don’t know how to belong, there’s always a tribe, who have your six because they know at the end of the day, we’re all humans and that most of us learn our lessons sometimes the hardest of ways.

Chris is currently available for purchase for one week before it hits streaming services next week.

FAVOURITE TRACK: “Moving Target”



Photo Credit: Ryan Adams