Cold Roses

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Cold Roses
Cold roses.jpg
Studio album by Ryan Adams and The Cardinals
Released May, 2005
Recorded Loho Studios (New York City, NY)
Genre Alternative country, country rock
Length 76:03 (84:37 with bonus tracks)
Label Lost Highway Records (B0004343-02)
Producer Tom Schick
Ryan Adams chronology
Love Is Hell
Cold Roses
Jacksonville City Nights
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Metacritic(69/100) [1]
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars [2]
Drowned in Sound(8/10) [3]
Entertainment WeeklyB [4]
The Music Box4/5 stars [5]
NME(7/10) [6]
Pitchfork Media(7.2/10) [7]
PopMatters4/10 stars [8]
Robert Christgau(1-star Honorable Mention)[9]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars [10]
Uncut4/5 stars [1]

Cold Roses is the sixth studio album by alt-country singer-songwriter Ryan Adams, released on May 3, 2005 on Lost Highway. The album is his first with backing band The Cardinals, and the first of three albums released in 2005.

Cold Roses has sold 159,000 copies in the United States.[11]

Although all the tracks can fit on a standard 80-minute disc, it was released as a double album with packaging and CDs designed to make it look like a vinyl LP. The album was also released in a standard 2-disc jewel case.


While performing in Liverpool in January 2004, Adams broke his left wrist when he slipped off the stage and fell six feet into the orchestra pit below.[12] A painful recovery and rehab period followed over the next several months, as Adams relocated to his hometown of Jacksonville, North Carolina, and slowly relearned how to play guitar. "There would be tears streaming down my face as I struggled to play Black Sabbath songs,” he later said.[13] During this difficult time, Adams was inspired by Jerry Garcia's playing because "he wasn’t afraid to fuck up".[14] This fascination with The Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan pointed Adams in a new musical direction, and his next band - christened The Cardinals - was conceived as a loose, spacious musical collective.[15]

Writing and composition[edit]

In 2011, Adams claimed that "How Do You Keep Love Alive" was written while he was high on opium: "I fully understand when people say Edgar Allan Poe used to smoke this stuff and have visions. I wrote the entire song "How Do You Keep Love Alive" without writing a word down, and I played it on piano. And I've tried to understand the chord pattern ever since, because I can't fuckin' play it."[16]


The album so far has a score of 69 out of 100 from Metacritic based on "generally favorable reviews".[1] USA Today gave it three-and-a-half stars out of four and said, "What makes this hard-to-pigeonhole country/folk/ punk/pop-rocker remarkable is the quality of the quantity. There's not a bad song in Cold Roses' 18-track bouquet, and at least 13 are worth instant iPod enshrining."[17] The Guardian gave it a score of four stars out of five and said of Ryan Adams: "The boy wonder is back in the saddle."[18] Chicago Tribune gave it a favorable review and called it "Adams' most ambitious effort to date."[19] The A.V. Club gave it a favorable review and said it "feels fantastic--as pretty and affecting as a slow sunset."[20] Spin gave it a score of seven out of ten and said, "There's an air of formal exercise here.... But if you can ride with the cliches, you won't fault the execution."[21] E! Online gave it a B− and said, "Even if it is twice as long as it needs to be (thus, a couple of dead spots), we're not arguing. We're just enjoying the music."[1]

Some reviews are average or mixed: The Austin Chronicle gave it a score of three stars out of five and called it "Adams' double-album hubris".[22] gave it a score of six stars out of ten and called it "a relaxed and ambitious collection that confirms Ryan Adams' reputation as a top-notch singer and songwriter who easily jumps styles and evokes comfortable sadness with every turn."[23] Tiny Mix Tapes gave it a score of three stars out of five and called it an "18-track monster".[24] Paste also gave it a score of three stars out of five and said it "comes as a bit of relief, bereft of the posturing that so often attends Adams’ work.... That said, there’s also a sense of retreat that permeates the record, a willingness to offer the comforts of familiar tones instead of ambitiously taking chances."[25] Playlouder gave it a score of two-and-a-half stars out of five and called it "A frustratingly self indulgent and inconsistent double album that pitches itself somewhere between the classic country rock of 2001's 'Gold' and the lovelorn despair of 2004's 'Love Is Hell'."[26] Flak Magazine gave it a mixed review and said, "Without the first disc, the double disc Cold Roses wouldn't be half bad."[27]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Adams, Bowersock, Cashdollar, Pemberton and Popper.

Disc one
1."Magnolia Mountain"5:53
2."Sweet Illusions"5:02
3."Meadowlake Street"4:29
4."When Will You Come Back Home"4:52
5."Beautiful Sorta"3:01
6."Now That You're Gone"3:52
7."Cherry Lane"4:32
9."How Do You Keep Love Alive"3:12

Disc two
1."Easy Plateau"5:12
2."Let It Ride"3:24
4."Cold Roses"4:36
5."If I Am a Stranger"4:39
6."Dance All Night"3:15
8."Life Is Beautiful"4:29

Bonus tracks
1."Tonight" (Vinyl and UK release only, also released as an iTunes exclusive album-only track)3:29
2."So Hot, So Cold" (Japan and UK Bonus Track)3:20
3."Operator, Operator" (Japan Bonus Track)1:46


Chart positions[edit]


Country Peak
US[28] 26
Australia[29] 31
Belgium (Flanders)[30] 27
Denmark[31] 31
Germany[32] 39
Netherlands[33] 48
Ireland[34] 16
New Zealand[35] 30
Norway[36] 9
Sweden[37] 8
UK[38] 20


  1. ^ a b c d Critic reviews at Metacritic
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ Drowned in Sound review
  4. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  5. ^ The Music Box review
  6. ^ NME review
  7. ^ Pitchfork Media review
  8. ^ PopMatters review
  9. ^ Christgau, Robert. "CG: Ryan Adams & the Cardinals". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  10. ^ Rolling Stone review
  11. ^ 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. "Cold Roses," has sold 159,000 copies in the United States 
  12. ^ "Ryan Adams - 'I could've been paralysed'". 2004-01-28. Retrieved 2015-06-07. 
  13. ^ Mehr, Bob (2014-09-07). "At Home, Kinda, With Ryan Adams". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2015-06-07. 
  14. ^ Bose, Lilledeshan (2014-09-09). "Looking for the Grateful Dead in Ryan Adams' Music". MySpace. Retrieved 2015-06-07. 
  15. ^ Barshad, Amos (2008-11-02). "Ryan Adams: Show Review (Apollo Theater)". Prefix Magazine. Retrieved 2015-06-07. 
  16. ^ Simpson, Dave (2011-09-22). "Ryan Adams: 'Things got broken and I couldn't fix them'". The Guardian. London. 
  17. ^ USA Today review via
  18. ^ The Guardian review
  19. ^ Chicago Tribune review
  20. ^ The A.V. Club review
  21. ^ Spin review
  22. ^ The Austin Chronicle review
  23. ^ " review". Archived from the original on February 25, 2008. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  24. ^ "Tiny Mix Tapes review". Archived from the original on September 19, 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-19. 
  25. ^ Leven, Jeff (2005-06-03). "Ryan Adams & The Cardinals (Cold Roses) :: Music :: Reviews". Paste. Archived from the original on 2006-01-07. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  26. ^ "Playlouder review". Archived from the original on May 7, 2005. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  27. ^ "Flak Magazine review". Archived from the original on June 24, 2005. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  28. ^ "American Charts". Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  29. ^ "Australian Charts". Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  30. ^ "Belgian Cold Roses position". Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  31. ^ "Danish Charts". Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  32. ^ "German Charts" (in German). Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  33. ^ "Dutch Charts" (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2014-03-28. Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  34. ^ "Irish Charts". Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  35. ^ "New Zealand Charts". Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  36. ^ "Norwegian Charts". Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  37. ^ "Swedish Charts". Retrieved 2008-11-25. 
  38. ^ "UK Chart Log". Retrieved 2008-11-22. 

External links[edit]