I managed to get a leaked copy of the album on December 1st. I cannot believe he started with the lines “I remember you before you hated me…” This is the most on-brand thing I could have ever imagined. This has been a pretty emotional week. I put this rant on the subreddit and predictably it’s getting downvoted pretty good, but hey man, it’s just my opinion.
They’re doing it because they don’t want to get downvoted into oblivion on their main accounts. And I totally disagree with you. I am struggling with this. I want to know where the community of former Ryan Adams fans are.
When I started getting into Ryan Adams, the extent of my knowledge of his bad behavior was that he had a habit of coming into his fan forums and behaving badly. That he was really defensive on social media. Nothing to write home about. I devoted years of my life to being a Ryan Adams fan. I commemorated finding my soul mate by giving him the 7" single that had How Much Light on it. My daughter and I used to play Willow Lane on my turntable every night before she went to bed. The songs I would play and sing her on the guitar were all Ryan Adams songs. I spent months tracking down rare pressings and spent loads and loads on money on records I no longer feel right playing.
Having followed him closely, seeing how his relationship with Natalie Prass and then Megan Buttersworth played out on social media, cracks began to show. The moment he referred to his wife as the spiritual equivalent of wet cardboard was my first real WHAT THE FUCK moment. Thinking about Ryan Adams and seeing what people are writing about him is literally the emotional equivalent of seeing the 2016 election play out over and over again. What exactly is wrong with Mandy Moore? She was too mainstream for five minutes at the turn of the millennium to ever take seriously? For all the shit you people have to say about her, she’s never even made a public statement about the fact that Ryan was cheating on her throughout their entire relationship. She was too young and too naive to realize what she was getting into, and yes, like Ryan Adams himself said, “You deserve a future, and you know I’ll never change.” Doesn’t anyone remember when he went out of his way more than once to point out that not a single song on Ashes and Fire was about Mandy and that in fact it was written about some other lay in Germany? And what about what he did to Leah Hayes? You know I just went over to the Cardinology Wikipedia page and there’s her artwork, no credit, and there’s a section called “Artwork” where I literally edited in that it was her MYSELF because it’s being whitewashed over that Ryan chose to punish her for not doing what he wanted by pulling the artwork he commissioned, replacing it with one of the laziest and cheesiest album covers ever made. And you know what? If you think that it’s okay that a 20 year old nobody be exploited by a grammy-nominated 40 year old because she was an adult, you are a garbage human being.
So yeah, hearing Wednesdays it does feel like a major fuck-you moment to those of us that spent years of our lives on him. It’s like he wanted to punish all of us for being feminists by pulling out his serves-you-right-it’s-heartbreaker-part-II album where he takes swipes left and right, bitches about the same old things, exploits his fans by talking about his mother on record for the first time, and is STILL dragging Megan Buttersworth through the goddamn mud. It’s poor taste, it’s ill-timed, and it’s a piss-poor effort that such an alledegely prolific artist never should have let see the light of day. Clearly he’s still surrounding himself with the same yes-people he always has.
Basically, I am really, REALLY hoping that Phoebe Bridgers wins all four of those Grammys and that 7-time-nominee Ryan Adams loses his damn mind over it.