Ryan Adams is nothing if not unpredictable. This is the third album that the king of alt.country has released in 2005 - and, his fans will be mightily relieved to hear, he's saved the best for last. Each summarising a year of his 20s, these nine songs are a fine example of just how powerful roots music can be in the hands of a master. His band The Cardinals seem to have been given the week off, so most of the time it's just Adams and his acoustic guitar, mournfully pouring out a litany of drug-fuelled horror stories in that unmistakably parched voice. You wouldn't necessarily want to buy this guy a drink or introduce him to your sister - if you haven't yet sampled his songwriting, you're really missing out. This is as good a place as any to get acquainted.