Ryan Adams has released the second single, ‘To Be Without You’, from his upcoming album. The track follows on quickly from the release of ‘Do You Still Love Me?’ and the announcement of his latest album Prisoner earlier this month. Prisoner will be his 16th album in as many years. ‘Do You Still Love Me?’ was noticeably influenced by the power and grit of ’80s rock but Prisoner‘s second teaser is much more refined.
The track’s subject matter once again discusses Adams’ very public divorce from Mandy Moore, but this time around the angle is a lot more pensive and less direct. ‘To Be Without You’ is clearly written from a dark place but its arrangement, typified by both bluesy and folk guitar, is fairly upbeat. If his first single was questioning the implosion of his relationship, this second single is certainly exploring catharsis and a healthy transition into life post-divorce. Still, Adams clearly has regrets over some of his actions as he reflects on his relationship: ‘Used to feel angry, now I only feel humble/We are like a book and every page is so torn’. In an Instagram post detailing the release of ‘To Be Without You’, Adams revealed the importance of releasing this record. ‘This record mattered more to me than any record before it and my life depended on making it. I would have died inside if I hadn’t.’ For all of the wounds recording and inevitably touring Prisoner will open up for Adams, the candid revelations apparent in the subject matter of the first two singles are sure to provide deliverance and release. And as for the quality of these tracks, Adams’ tackling of his own personal struggles in an inclusive manner makes for some of his best material this decade.
Image courtesy of The Line of Best Fit