For some time, Ryan Adams has been called one of the re-igniters of country-rock music. For longer than that, Adams has been shying away from that title in favor of more experimental territory, as seen in last year’s New York City discordant Rock N Roll and his depressing death letter from the Chelsea Hotel, Love is Hell. Cold Roses takes the Adams deck and shuffles it again, uniting some of Adams’ best country-rock work with newer cosmic experimentation, blooming into a wonderful collection of springtime music from one of rock’s most talented writers.

Of the two discs, the second seems more consistent, beginning with the lovely "Easy Plateau," the Whiskeytown-like "Let it Ride" and the outstanding "Rosebud." "Dance All Night" could have been plucked from the Gold record, with songs that flow seamlessly together like the rivers and flowers Adams spends much of the album talking about.

Disc one begins brilliantly with "Magnolia Mountain" and the nearly perfect "Sweet Illusions" before hitting its climax with the shuffling "Cherry Lane," where Adams says, "I wanna be the one who walks you home tonight." Simple lyrics, a little weary, but visual enough to take you to a countryside road where you can see the scene unravel as Adams spins the tale.

With two more records promised this year, Adams has started off his latest trilogy in full bloom. Let’s hope that the roses referenced here don’t wither and wilt during his next releases.

Grade: A

Cold Roses is currently available.