This weeks song of the week is Do You Still Love Me by Ryan Adams.
Ryan Adams is the sort of artist who isn’t well known outside of record critics or music geeks. Some people might remember his video which went viral for “Do Miss America” which featured clips of models slipping and falling while walking down the catwalks (my apologies for not being able to find that version of the video). Others might remember having heard that he released a song by song cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989 album. Still others might have read that he recently ended his long-term marriage with Rapunzel.
Unfortunately, when you mention his name, most people thing of a singer from the 80s with a similar name. Which is a shame, because he has quite a few good songs in his catalog.
“Do You Still Love Me” has a vibe similar to a classic Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song. It begins with an organ playing chords mournfully, and the band throws in a few stabs to get your attention. The whole band comes in at the pre-chorus and if you listen closely you can hear a glockenspiel through the chorus.
After the second chorus, the band stops to allow a ratty sounding guitar to take the lead. This is not an over-practiced display of technicality, but a passionate burst of staccato notes and wiry bends. The fret noise and amp hum don’t even seem like distractions here, but rather contribute to the overall feeling. The guitar here is a good example of how a simple instrumental lead can say more in a few seconds than a lot of vocalists can say in the whole song.
If you like this song, you’ll be glad to know that Ryan Adams has been around for a long time and has been pretty prolific at that, so there’s a lot of stuff to look through.