Adams's conceit is in his concept: Gold is an American travelogue. It opens with "New York, New York" and slowly works itself across the country, ending up on the West Coast for the closing "Goodnight, Hollywood Blvd." It's an ambitious move, but one that doesn't quite pay off. Adams is too erratic a songwriter, and Gold is an unwieldy album (originally slated as a double disc, it has been pared down to a 16-song, 70-minute set). Yet there are moments of Dylanesque brilliance here. Jay Farrar, on the other hand, is content to let things be. On his solo debut, Sebastopol, the former Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt frontman keeps to the same dusty trail he's traveled dutifully for the past decade. Except for a synth here and there, and a few worldly rhythms, not much of Sebastopol breaks from the familiar pattern. Farrar still has alt-country's laziest drawl, but Sebastopol is drenched in faux-Americana and wallows in its very pointlessness.