Heartbreaker — Ryan Adams

By David Kenney

Ryan Adams is a young Steve Earle in waiting. He shares the same bar-room brawl attitude tempered by a heart-broken howl. And with friends like Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris and David Rawlings, the Whiskeytown vocalist has strong tutors.

All he needs are better songs. Heartbreaker is loaded with promise but neither rocks nor sways like either of Whiskeytown’s classic alt. country albums. Adams’s vocal range is on full display though, proving he can do more than just pout country. From rockabilly rants to hushed vocal stand-alones, Adams shows an age past his 24 years. Look out when he hits his peak.


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