BN.com Gift Guide

Heartbreaker

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
While Whiskeytown's third album languishes in record-company limbo, the band's frontman and songwriter, Ryan Adams, has some other stories to tell. Adams lost a lover while he was living in New York City, and he confronts his loneliness and frustration on Heartbreaker. Avoiding the raucous side of Whiskeytown in favor of a more introspective approach, Adams has assembled a stripped-down combo featuring Gillian Welch and David Rawlings for a cycle of intimate, primarily acoustic ballads. The songs carry an aura of being alone in a hotel room far from home, late at night, and knowing that the one you want to call doesn't want to hear from you. The female harmonies -- most...
See more details below
This Super Audio CD is Not Available through BN.com

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
While Whiskeytown's third album languishes in record-company limbo, the band's frontman and songwriter, Ryan Adams, has some other stories to tell. Adams lost a lover while he was living in New York City, and he confronts his loneliness and frustration on Heartbreaker. Avoiding the raucous side of Whiskeytown in favor of a more introspective approach, Adams has assembled a stripped-down combo featuring Gillian Welch and David Rawlings for a cycle of intimate, primarily acoustic ballads. The songs carry an aura of being alone in a hotel room far from home, late at night, and knowing that the one you want to call doesn't want to hear from you. The female harmonies -- most of them by Welch but with cameos from Emmylou Harris who works her usual magic on the homesick meditation "Oh My Sweet Carolina", Kim Richey, and Allison Pierce -- amplify the album's yearning, heartbroken vibe. It's not all sad banjos and acoustic guitars, though: Adams and friends let loose convincingly on "To Be Young is to be sad, is to be high," which recalls Bob Dylan and The Band's most rollicking moments, and the rockabilly murder ballad "Shakedown on 9th Street." Sly Dylan allusions abound, most directly in the cadence of "Damn, Sam I love a woman that rains," but that's just Adams playing with history. He also tweaks his roots on "Don't Ask for the Water," which crosses William Bell's "You Don't Miss Your Water Until Your Well Runs Dry" with Howlin' Wolf's "I Asked for Water She Gave Me Gasoline," and ebbs and flows achingly between hopeless attraction and vindictive repulsion. More than just an indie stopgap between his band's higher-profile releases, Heartbreaker is a lonely, low-key gem.
All Music Guide - Mark Deming
As Whiskeytown finally ground to a halt in the wake of an astonishing number of personal changes following Faithless Street coupled with record company problems that kept their final album, Pneumonia, from reaching stores until two years after it was recorded, Ryan Adams ducked into a Nashville studio for two weeks of sessions with Gillian Welch and David Rawlings. While arch traditionalists Welch and Rawlings would hardly seem like a likely match for alt-country's bad boy, the collaboration brought out the best in Adams; Heartbreaker is loose, open, and heartfelt in a way Whiskeytown's admittedly fine albums never were, and makes as strong a case for Adams' gifts as anything his band ever released. With the exception of the Stones-flavored "Shakedown on 9th Street" and the swaggering "To Be Young Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High," Heartbreaker leaves rock & roll on the shelf in favor of a sound that blends low-key folk-rock with a rootsy, bluegrass-accented undertow, and while the album's production and arrangements are subtle and spare, they make up in emotional impact whatever they lack in volume. As a songwriter, Adams concerns himself with the ups and downs of romance rather than the post-teenage angst that dominated Whiskeytown's work, and "My Winding Wheel" and "Damn, Sam I Love a Woman That Rains" are warmly optimistic in a way he's rarely been before, while "Come Pick Me Up" shows he's still eloquently in touch with heartbreak. Adams has always been a strong vocalist, but his duet with Emmylou Harris on "Oh My Sweet Carolina" may well be his finest hour as a singer, and the stripped-back sound of these sessions allows him to explore the nooks and crannies of his voice, and the results are pleasing. Whiskeytown fans who loved the "Replacements-go-twang" crunch of "Drank Like a River" and "Yesterday's News" might have a hard time warming up to Heartbreaker, but the strength of the material and the performances suggest Adams is finally gaining some much-needed maturity, and his music is all the better for it.
Entertainment Weekly - James Sullivan
Whiskeytown’s Adams is a brash, alt-country balladeer with a rock instinct.

Whiskeytown’s Adams is a brash, alt-country balladeer with a rock instinct.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/24/2004
  • Label: Mobile Fidelity Koch
  • UPC: 821797700269
  • Catalog Number: 7002

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ryan Adams Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Harmonica, Piano, Electric Guitar, Vocals
Emmylou Harris Vocals
Ethan Johns Bass, Drums, Glockenspiel, Hammond Organ, Vibes, chamberlain, Musician
Kim Richey Vocals
Gillian Welch Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Electric Bass, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Voices
David Rawlings Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Electric Guitar, Tambourine, Vocals
Allison Pierce Vocals
Pat Sansone Organ, Piano, Background Vocals, chamberlain
Allison Pearce Vocals
Technical Credits
Ethan Johns Producer, Engineer
Vanessa Alston Composer
Shawn R. Britton Mastering
Tony Monaco Graphic Design
Ethan Jones Audio Production
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Come Pick This Up!

    Ryan's heart is broken, thus the title Heartbreaker. Many of the songs deal with his heart break--the lyrics and vocal delivery are so emotionial, you almost feel like your eavesdropping. Amy, My Winding Wheel, To Be the One, Call Me On Your Way Back Home, Don't Ask For The Water will just about rip your heart out! There's a few Alt-country gems including Oh, My Sweet Carolina, Bartering Lines, and In My Time of Need that aren't quite as sad, but still lyrically pack an emotional punch. And there's a pair of kicking rockers To Be Young is To Be Sad, and Shakedown on 9th Street. The production is sparse, and sometimes you can barely hear is voice, and sometimes the harmonica is so loud it startles you. I think they were going for a live sound (this was recorded in 14 days for a small independant label) and perhaps didn't have the inclination to change a thing. One more thing: Come Pick Me Up really sums up the plight of a young man who just can't stay away from the wrong woman. It is a funny and sad song at the same time, because you just KNOW he's going to hook up with the wrong gal again!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Buy this album now!!!!

    I was given Ryan Adams ''Gold'' album by a friend and found it a refreshing change to what was being played on the radio. While at the record store I came across heartbreaker and decided to buy it. It has since become a staple in my CD collection I can not say enough about it. If ''come pick me up'' does not hit a chord with you, I will never understand why.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A must have for any collection!

    I first heard this CD in a local record shop and was blown away. As soon as I heard Come Pick Me Up I was hooked. I've been waiting for years for someone to put this much thought and emotion into an album and it appears Adams has finnaly done it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews