Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker (2000) [MFSL 2004]
PS3 Rip | ISO | SACD DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 51:20 minutes | Scans included | 2,08 GB
or FLAC(converted with foobar2000 to tracks) 24bit/88,2 kHz | Scans included | 779 MB
Alternative Country / Traditional Rock / Americana | Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab # UDSACD 7002
Mixing the heartfelt angst of a singer/songwriter with the cocky brashness of a garage rocker, Ryan Adams is at once one of the few artists to emerge from the alt-country scene to achieve mainstream commercial success and the one who most strongly refused to be defined by the genre, leaping from one spot to another stylistically while following his increasingly prolific muse.
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.
01. Argument with David Rawlings concerning Morrissey
02. To Be Young (Is to be sad, is to be high)
03. My Winding Wheel
05. Oh My Sweet Carolina
06. Bartering Lines
07. Call Me On Your Way Back Home
08. Damn, Sam ( I love a woman that rains)
09. Come Pick Me Up
10. To Be The One
11. Why Do They Leave?
12. Shakedown on 9th Street
13. Don’t Ask For The Water
14. In My Time Of Need
15. Sweet Lil Gal (23rd/1st)
Mastered by Shawn R. Britton at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Sebastopol, CA.