DUEL 2002 — Round 1 Match 10

Duel 2002 – Round 1 Match 10

Which Of These Artists Is Worse?
Ryan Adams

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Duel returns from its unseemly hiatus with a big-name match-up, two artists dedicated to keeping alive the flickering flame of rock and roll and who need little introduction. U2 were left out of 2000’s Duel! on the grounds that their inclusion would be unfair (none of the other bands would stand a chance). Also because their rockin’ activities had been thankfully low-key, Bono’s day job as world statesman taking up far too much of his time. Alas mere months after escaping the cut for Duel! 2000, U2 were back with ‘Beautiful Day’ (Bono putting his money where his mouth was by writing off his own not inconsiderable debt to A-Ha) and then a patronizing album full of the same old twice-dredged silt. Can you possibly leave them behind for the second round?

But wait! Who is this challenging Bono but country-rock upstart Ryan Adams? His fans invariably protest that Ryan Adams isn’t a rock classicist rip-off boy but frankly the clue is in the name. That said I recently admitted in another article that I’d not heard his stuff all the way through, so this summary must be a little muted. I’m sure you’ll make up for it on the comments page. What I have heard sounded tired and mawkish.

Last Result — TRAVIS 74% – Belle And Sebastian 26%

And, um, speaking of comments pages — unfortunately I fucked up and forgot to include one last time so your pearls and gallstones on the Scottish soundclash are lost to history. Let the record show that Travis trounced their opposition (despite being outnumbered 2 to 1!).