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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin...
When Whiskeytown split, I wasnt sure whether Caitlin Cary or Ryan Adams would produce the better solo album, if either of them chose to go solo, that is, but this album deserves to go down as a classic.
Heartbreaker is a gorgeous collection of emotive, downbeat alt. country, bar two tracks (Shakedown on 9th Street and To Be Young...) which are perfect for those,...
Published on 4 Feb 2002

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best and not his worst
Not his best and not his worst, worth having a copy for the silly price these cd's go for but I wouldn't spent £20+ on the vinyl
Published 4 days ago by R. D. Sanderson


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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin..., 4 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Heartbreaker (Audio CD)
When Whiskeytown split, I wasnt sure whether Caitlin Cary or Ryan Adams would produce the better solo album, if either of them chose to go solo, that is, but this album deserves to go down as a classic.
Heartbreaker is a gorgeous collection of emotive, downbeat alt. country, bar two tracks (Shakedown on 9th Street and To Be Young...) which are perfect for those, 'alone in the car and no-one can see me' moments.
The music is very simple, and the production rough, but the lyrics and Adams' voice are perfect. The emotions here are familiar with anyone who has loved and lost, songs such as Come Pick Me Up and Why Do They Leave? are quite simply, perfect.
My favourite tracks personally are Come Pick Me Up and AMY, both of which are downbeat, slow folky-country, and excellent.
If you are buying this album after Gold, however, it's worth taking note that this is much more downbeat, and a little more country...with less istrumentation. A lot of the songs are just vocal, guitar and piano, and can sometimes sound a little sparse.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talks to the heart, with some kicking harmonica too., 15 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Heartbreaker (Audio CD)
I had read so many reviews of this album that told me to buy it before I actually did, now I feel its indispensible to my collection. Never has an album title been so apt, songs that speak some of the innermost thoughts that everybody has had. However, if I had bought this album just after breaking up with someone I fear it may have pushed me over the edge. Instead it reminds me of how I have felt, but never in a bad way. 'Come pick me up' is basically the best send off. Saying do what you like but I'm fine. Do it as many times as you want to, I'll be fine, but whats it doing to you? Complete with kick ass harmonica. For me an album high point. 'Sweet Carolina' speaks to the heart and brings a tear to my eye. Another favorite, but as a whole they're all great. Ryan Adams has had his heart broken and thank god, or we would never have got this album.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking!, 19 Aug 2002
This review is from: Heartbreaker (Audio CD)
Heartbreaker is the name of the album, and is perhaps prophetic of the albums effect on it's listeners... it broke my heart just listening too it, and this was during the happiest time of my 18 year life yet when i was personally as far from heartbreak as could be... or maybe not. You've got to have it to break it! But this album reminded me what it feels like to be heartbroken. But only the best bits, when the sun just starts to rise again. This, you must understand, is not a complaint!
Initially drawn into Ryan Adams by a friend who played me Come Pick Me Up (a track to which i was instantly addicted), i bought the album a week or so later. And instantly i was thrilled with the emotion that is woven between every song. Oh My Sweet Carolina is one of the best songs ive heard for a long time. Other tracks such as AMY, Winding Wheel and of course, Come Pick Me Up, make this album stand out from your average album. You see, this is far far from your average album!
Words to describe it are not in abundance because none quite seem to describe the whole album. So i'll just use about as bland a generalisation as i can and say this album is simply breathtaking. Don't expect guitar solos, dont expect drum riffs and dont expect to dance around. Expect instead to feel as if every emotional song on this incredible album was written for you. This isn't an album to jump around too. This is an album to identify with, this is an album to explain things to you. This is an album for your lowest low and your highest high. This is an album of reflection and celebration and comiseration.
Put simply, just buy it!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red Wine Ryan, 14 Mar 2004
This review is from: Heartbreaker (Audio CD)
A bottle of red a packet of cigs and fifty two minutes later I feel as though I've been on a road trip with the man himself. Strangely uplifting at times you also feel like a beaten down puppy dog left at the side of a road in need of some tender loving care. This is not to say that Heartbreaker is depressing it simply explains Ryan's truism bleeding from his emotional blood.
A band member stuffs his mouth full of cookies and Ryan counts down rhymically into To Be Young (is to be sad, is to be high) the most uplifting track on the album that makes me want to bounce of the walls of my bedroom each time I hear it. The rest of the album is rather down tempo from here on where tracks such as Oh My Sweet Carolina, Call Me On My Way Back Home, Come Pick Me Up and In My Time of Need really shine. Ryan's voice is so emotionally harmonised to solo performing that this album is the only one that realy captures his raw talent, along with part 1 and 2 of Love is Hell, Suicide Handbook and Demolition.
Well I could sit here and write everything about the nutter but I'll say one thing if you like Dylan, Neil Young, Hayden, Jackson Browne then this is for you. The best music talent since the Beatles and the Stones! Seriously!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaker, 9 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Heartbreaker (Audio CD)
although not writing heartbreaker off, plenty of peolpe seem to say its a good 'blonde on blonde' rip off or something along those lines. certainly the first track sounds uncannily like rainy day women and there's plenty of harp playin to evoke big haired old bob from back in the day. this seems unfair a - because the first song really is wonderful in its own right and b - this record is far more ballad laden and openly country and whilst not depressing, down at heel and drunk in the early love lost hours anyways. plus theres chamberlains and strings and what have you that are rarely associated with bob if you want to miss the point and make a big boring Q magazine thing of it. bottom line is ryan adams isn't ripping anyone off really - this is just what he sounds like. i like the middle of the record best - from bartering lines through come pick me up but its all good. i would say 4 stars only because five star records are pretty rare beasts all in all. if you enjoy this record maybe you'd like the southern harmony and musical companion by the black crowes which is kind of on the same page. whatever, have a great time with this one xxx
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The spirit of Gram Parsons lives on..., 9 May 2001
This review is from: Heartbreaker (Audio CD)
Ryan Adams should be a superstar. As it stands he's somewhat of a cult icon in Alt Country circles, akin to Kurt Wagner or Jim White. Lyrically he recalls his musical hero Gram Parsons with his wonderfully introspective tales of hard drinking, love, loss and the rootless search for identity. Heartbreaker was written in the aftermath of a break-up with his long-term girlfriend and it shows. The sense of resignation and loneliness present in these songs makes it hard to believe Adams is only 26.
In musical terms this album has a full yet live sound, recalling 70s Dylan, The Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, but there is a modern sensibility to his songwriting that sets him apart from many of his Alt Country coterie.
Listen to his sublime duet with Emmylou Harris on 'My Sweet Carolina' and you'll hear two generations of country rock fusing together in a perfect marriage.
Buy this CD if you still believe in the redemptive powers of music, and want to take a stand against the manufactured dross that currently fills the charts.
Adams is the real deal. Let's hope he doesn't go the same way as many of his heroes.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music that will stand the test of time., 12 Oct 2003
This review is from: Heartbreaker (Audio CD)
I bought this album, after purchasing "Gold". I certainly wasn't disapointed with what I got.
In a period of time, where these days, the charts seem to be dominated with cheap talentless manufactured acts, releasing covers, Ryan Adams has been a breath of fresh air:- an artist who wites his own songs, and is actually brilliant at it.
The album kicks off with the speech, "Argument with David Rawlings concerning Morrissey" This is Adams showing his humorous side.
The music then kicks off, with "To Be Young (Is To Be Sad Is To be High)" Think Dylan "Subterrainian Homesick Blues" think upbeat acoustic sound, well this song will have you singing along in the car. An absolute masterpiece.
"My Winding Wheel", a great piece of poetry set to a pleasant acoustic tune.
"Amy" is Adams ode to former girlfriend. Its almost Beatlesque. Mainly just Adams on acoustic guitar, this song is a glowing tribute to simplicity.
"Oh My Sweet Carolina" in my opinion, is the real gem of gems in this album. Theres a lot of feeling and mood straight from the heart with this song. The lyrics will just blow you away. The story of leaving a home, thinking the grass is greener on the otherside, and realising how home is really where the heart is, is a situation we've all found ourselves in sometime or another.
This song is a fine example of the song writing talent of Adams. The addition of Emmylou Harris singing as duet, enhances what is already a masterpiece.
"Bartering Lines", think Neil Young, think well thought out lyrics, think strong simple yet effective tune, think just man and acoustic guitar, and well your almost there.
"Call Me On Your Way Back Home" is another one of those little gems. Its a classic tribute to a lover. Its one of those songs that says to a woman, I need you, I love you.
"Damn Sam I Love a Woman When it Rains", Blues and Poetry.
"Come Pick Me Up" This is another real gem. A real moody emotional song, its one of those songs that says, "If I've messed up sorry", or "Whatever you've done to me, I still love you, lets give it another try". The harmonica, and strong tune and lyrics, will have you singing along.
"To Be The One", Think one man and his guitar, and saying what he's thinking about his girl.
"Why Do They Leave?" This is the tale of a broken love affair, and all the questions that go with it. "What went wrong?" "We were so good together"
"Shakedown on 9th Street" a Ballad to a crazy night, rivalry for a girl. A crazy energetic tune, it makes you want to get up and jump around.
"Dont Ask for The Water" man and his guitar with poetry...
"In My Time Of Need" Words which come straight from the heart. Its a song that says "I am happy, I love you, whatever happens we've got each other, I dont need nothing as long as I've got you" Its a very crafted piece of songwriting, which will send a shiver of approval down your spine, and overwhelm you.
"Sweet Lil Gal" a man puts his thoughts to piano.
The test of real songwriting, is if people are still listening to the music, in 30 or 40 years time. I definitely think this is one album, which will be just that.
This album proves you don't need a shed load of computers and electric instruments, to produce music, just a man and his guitar and his emotion.
I can more than recommend this album and anything else by Ryan Adams, or Whiskeytown.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker indeed, 28 Nov 2008
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Red on Black - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Heartbreaker (Audio CD)
This is sort of mental peace offering to myself. I do dislike Ryan Adams new album Cardinology with a vengeance but that must not distract from what a brilliant catalogue of work he has built up over time. Indeed when Adams released "Heartbreaker" I thought this is it. What I mean is that the are times in rock musice when great albums are released which define the direction of music. They are instant classics and last the test of time. Dylan's great trilogy Bringing it back Home, Highway 61 and Blonde on Blonde remains unsurpassed. More than that there is something timeless and enduring about them a factor which so few artists capture. Think of Joni Mitchell's "Blue", Neil Young's "On the Beach" and "Tonight's the Night", Beach Boys "Pet Sounds". Adams first solo album hit those creative peaks. The songs are the pinnacle of the alt country movement, it is one of the stone classic break up albums; his vocals are stunning, you rave it about it to all your friends for the next 20 years and you knew there was more to come.

Come pick me up, Damn Sam, My Winding Wheel and Sweet Carolina are the highlights. Adams followed it with the equally brilliant Gold. Then (damn it) the erratic quality control steps in. Demolition was a nice collection of rare tracks and outtakes; Rock n Roll was truly awful and then things pick back up with the wonderful Love is Hell. Anyway listen to this and weep at the standard fare on offer in his latest release. There surely is more in the tank and whatever Adams does its always an interesting journey.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional, magical, brilliant, 25 Sep 2001
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This review is from: Heartbreaker (Audio CD)
When Whiskeytown folded, and Caitlin Cary and Ryan Adams went their separate ways, it wasn't easy to tell what would follow. Ryan Adams has, however, released possibly the definitive alt.country solo album as his debut. With nods to Highway 61 era Dylan (To be young is to be sad, is to be high) and Steve Earle (Shakedown...), the electric-backed songs charge along at breakneck speed, crackling with energy. You can picture the band in the studio playing hard, having a hell of a time and recording some great, loose, ragged country-rock.
But for every tune played with a full band, the real masterpieces on this album feature Ryan Adams, an acoustic guitar and a minimum of backing. If 'Call me on your way back home', the dissection of a failing relationship, doesn't make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end, then musically nothing ever will. AMY is equally beautiful in a haunting way, and the production of the guitar and vocals brings the intimacy that many recordings aspire to but never reach.
Not only is this a brilliant album, it is the arrival of a very singular and significant talent. Music lovers will still be playing this album for years to come. It's even good enough to make you forgive the indulgence on "Gold". But this isn't good as gold - it's a different class.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent solo offering from rapidly maturing songwriter, 25 Nov 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Heartbreaker (Audio CD)
Must admit I didn't think that much of Ryan Adams' former band Whiskeytown - a little too much drunken self-pity for my liking. But having recently seen the guy play his solo acoustic set in London (same bill as the brilliant Eileen Rose - I heard they were writing songs together on the road, can't WAIT to hear those), he's won me over. These songs are really well constructed, highly melodic, and they've more in common with rootsy US folk than Country. There's a bunch of celebrity guests too (Emmylou Harris for one, though sadly not Ms Rose - hopefully she'll be there next time), none of whom manage to overshadow Ryan Adams. Great singer, great guitarist and obviously getting better and better. Excellent.
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Heartbreaker
Heartbreaker by Ryan Adams (Audio CD - 2000)
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