Heartbreaker [Deluxe Version]

Heartbreaker [Deluxe Version]

by Ryan Adams

CD(Bonus DVD)

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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. [A Deluxe three-CD/DVD set comprising 51 tracks was released in 2016 and included demos, alternate takes, live tracks, and outtakes.]

Product Details

Release Date: 05/06/2016
Label: Pax Americana
UPC: 0811790026480
catalogNumber: 1790026480
Rank: 67966

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ryan Adams   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Harmonica,Piano,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Emmylou Harris   Guest Appearance
Ethan Johns   Bass,Drums,Glockenspiel,Vibes,chamberlain,Hammond B3
Kim Richey   Guest Appearance
Gillian Welch   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Electric Bass,Vocals,Guest Appearance
David Rawlings   Guitar,Vocals

Technical Credits

Ethan Johns   Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes
Noel Gallagher   Composer
David Rawlings   Composer
Ryan Adams   Composer
Merle Chornuk   Engineer
Van Alston   Composer

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