Volume 31: “Halloween Head” Ryan Adams

“Head full of tricks and treats, it leads me through the nighttime streets”



Deadheads, Parrotheads, Phishheads, Devoted Ryan Adams fans adopted “Halloween Heads” after the track of the same name from 2007’s Easy Tiger. The term seems to fit his songs to a tee. Back in 2006, Adams was recording with The Cardinals, what would become Easy Tiger and III/IV, a double album that would not see release until 2010, and the theme of “bad ideas” seems to permeate all three of these discs.

Hooks Heard
That chorus is accentuated by some crunchy chords on the electric guitar, and the opening bells give the start an ominous touch. Adams’ also announces exactly when the guitar solo is coming, but I could swear that sounds more like an organ (though I guess any sound is possible with the right effects pedal these days). Each verse is equipped with a hook of its own on its last line. I like verse 1’s the best, where he crams in so many words I had to read the lyrics to understand it: “Salt shaker spills just throw it over your shoulder, babe.”

Meaning Meter
Well, this song needs a parental advisory. It’s not gangster rap, but he does drop a few F bombs. These are not flippantly tossed around though. This is a guy who doesn’t trust himself anymore. “Here comes that same old  s**t again, I’ve got a Halloween head…” The creepiest line comes in verse two, “it leads me through the streets at night, it’s alright, I just watch I don’t go inside”. Reminds me of the fiendish Joyce Carol Oates’ character, Arnold Friend.