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LET IT TWANG! CD Review



Ryan Adams -- Heartbreaker (Bloodshot).  The restless (former?) leader of Whiskeytown has been on a musical journey that landed him in Nashville via New York City.  While the future of Whiskeytown is anybody's guess, Adams' own future seems limitless after throwing down this breathtaking album in just 14 days.  The record kicks off with an argument between Adams and David Rawlings (yeah, that David Rawlings) about Morrissey, of all things.  For the record, it seems as though Adams has a firmer grasp of Morrissey's discography.  Once that's settled (sorta) Adams counts off "To Be Young (is to be sad, is to be high)" and swaggers into the rocking opening that's reminiscent of vintage Them, until the rich chorus spills over you ("oh one day when you're looking back / you were young and, man, you were sad").  The song changes textures again after another rockin' verse.  This song signals the varied lanscape explored throughout the record, but Adams and crew settle into a meditative groove for the next several tracks.  The gripping beauty and reverance of "Oh, My Sweet Carolina" would have been a knockout even without Emmylou Harris' harmony on the chorus.  With it, utter transcendence evoking the longing spirit of Gram Parsons in both sound and word ("I miss kentucky / and I miss my family / the sweetest winds they blow across the south").  Kim Richey, Gillian Welch, and David Rawlings all chip in on this album -- easily one of the best, if not the best, of 2000.  -TRS

Track listing:

1. (Argument with David Rawlings concerning Morrissey) (0:37)
2. To Be Young (is to be sad, is to be high) (3:04)
3. My Winding Wheel (3:13)
4. Amy (3:46)
5. Oh My Sweet Caroline (4:57)
6. Bartering Lines (3:59)
7. Call Me On Your Way Back Home (3:09)
8. Damn, Sam (I love a woman that rains) (2:08)
9. Come Pick Me Up (5:18)
10. To Be the One (3:01)
11. Why Do They Leave? (3:38)
12. Shakedown on 9th Street (2:53)
13. Don't Ask for the Water (2:56)
14. In My Time of Need (5:39)
15. Sweet Lil Gal (23rd/1st) (3:38)


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