29 (album)

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29 ryan adams.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 19, 2005 (2005-12-19)
RecordedAugust 2004
Three Crow Studios, L.A. CA.
GenreAlternative country
Folk rock
LabelLost Highway Records
ProducerEthan Johns
Ryan Adams chronology
Jacksonville City Nights
Easy Tiger
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic2/5 stars[2]
Entertainment.ie4/5 stars[3]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[4]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[5]
Pitchfork Media(6.8/10)[7]
PopMatters5/10 stars[8]
Robert ChristgauC[9]
Rolling Stone2.5/5 stars[10]
Stylus MagazineB−[11]

29 is the eighth studio album by alt-country singer-songwriter Ryan Adams, released on December 19, 2005 on Lost Highway. Produced by Ethan Johns, and recorded prior to the formation of backing band The Cardinals, the album was the last of three released in 2005. Session guitarist JP Bowersock would later go on to join the Cardinals, subsequently recording Cold Roses and Jacksonville City Nights alongside Adams; the album's cover art was drawn by Adams.

The album has sold 81,000 copies in the United States and 153,000 worldwide.[12] In November 2009, the album was number 54 on a list of "The 100 best pop albums of the Noughties" by The Times music critics.[13]

Recording notes[edit]

29 was recorded over two weeks during the first half of August 2004 at producer Ethan Johns' North Hollywood studio, Three Crows. According to Johns, only two songs were completely written before the sessions began – "Night Birds" and "Elizabeth, You Were Born To Play That Part"; the remaining tracks were written in the studio. To give the music a sense of spontaneity and immediacy, several of the songs on the album were first takes.[14]

The album is a loose concept album, with each song representing a single year in Adams' twenties.[7]


The album received a score of 69 out of 100 on Metacritic based on "generally favorable reviews".[1] Uncut gave it all five stars and said it was "not easy listening, yet [Adams has] never made a more beautiful album."[1] Yahoo! Music UK gave it nine stars out of ten and said, "At last Ryan Adams has made a record every bit as good as his heroes."[15] The A.V. Club gave it a B and said that Adams' music "takes some sifting, but the gold always glitters."[16] The New York Times gave it a favorable review and called it "Cohesive in its fragility."[1] E! Online gave it a B− and said that Adams "fails to come up with an album that keeps up the standard set here by a couple of standout tracks such as 'Strawberry Wine' and 'Nightbirds'."[1]

Other reviews are average or mixed: The Guardian gave it a score of three stars out of five and said, "Committed Adams-heads will love it; others will wonder why he commands such loyalty."[17] The Village Voice gave it an average review and said, "Adams mines American Beauty and Workingman's Dead respectably, but his attempts at early-'70s Neil Young piano ballads come off as tear-stained love letters to himself, and hardly distinguish him as the guy who dropped out of high school to become Paul Westerberg."[18] Prefix Magazine gave it a mixed review and said that "Despite the three or four keepers, 29 suggests that Adams is still struggling to nail down his musical identity."[19]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Ryan Adams.

2."Strawberry Wine"7:58
4."Blue Sky Blues"5:18
5."Carolina Rain"5:25
6."Starlite Diner"3:51
7."The Sadness"6:43
8."Elizabeth, You Were Born to Play That Part"5:07


Austrian Albums Chart[20] 73
Dutch Albums (Megacharts)[21] 73
German Albums (Media Control Charts)[22] 57
UK Albums (OCC)[23] 91
US Billboard 200[24] 144


  • Ryan Adams – vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, electric guitar
  • Wayne Bergeron – trumpet
  • JP Bowersock – electric guitar, mandolin, acoustic 12-string guitar, guitarone
  • Jennifer Condos – bass[clarification needed]
  • Bruce Dukov – violin
  • Endre Granat – violin
  • Ethan Johns – drums, bass, pedal steel guitar, chamberlin, synthesizer, acoustic guitar, ukulele, harpsichord, string arrangement, brass arrangement, conducting
  • Alan Kaplan – trombone
  • Dennis Karmayzn – cello
  • Phil Levy – violin
  • David Low – cello
  • Rafael Rishik – violin
  • Anatoly Rosinsky – violin
  • Lisa Sutton – violin


  1. ^ a b c d e Critic reviews at Metacritic
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Entertainment.ie review
  4. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  5. ^ Los Angeles Times review
  6. ^ NME review
  7. ^ a b Pitchfork Media review
  8. ^ PopMatters review
  9. ^ Robert Christgau Consumer Guide
  10. ^ Rolling Stone review
  11. ^ Stylus Magazine review Archived 2007-12-30 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ Hasty, Katie (2007-06-03). "Busy and bored, Adams tames "Tiger"". Reuters/Billboard. Archived from the original on 2007-01-06. Retrieved 2007-06-04. The first of the trio, "Cold Roses," has sold 159,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. "Jacksonville City Nights" has moved 100,000, and "29" has shifted 81,000.
  13. ^ "The 100 best pop albums of the Noughties". The Times. London. 2009-11-21. Retrieved 2010-04-23.
  14. ^ Scoppa, Bud (2006-03-24). "Production Notes: Ethan Johns / Ryan Adams". Paste. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  15. ^ "Yahoo! Music UK review". Archived from the original on 2006-01-10. Retrieved 2013-05-01.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  16. ^ The A.V. Club review
  17. ^ The Guardian review
  18. ^ The Village Voice review
  19. ^ Prefix Magazine review
  20. ^ "Austrian Charts" (in German). austriancharts.at. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
  21. ^ "Dutch Charts" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Archived from the original on 11 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
  22. ^ "German Charts" (in German). musicline.de. Archived from the original on 2008-12-11. Retrieved 2008-11-25.
  23. ^ "UK Chart Log". zobbel.de. Retrieved 2009-11-25.
  24. ^ "American Charts". AllMusic. Retrieved 2008-11-25.

External links[edit]