Wednesday, January 27, 2010

20. Heartbreaker – Ryan Adams (2000)

As someone whose entwinement with Gold in late 2001 became a hungry anticipation by 2002’s Demolition, it’s a shame I didn’t buy Heartbreaker until 2004 – a shame but no mystery. (I had – and maintain to this day – a strange bias against early albums of artists I’ve become interested in; meaning that if Pinkerton was the first Weezer album I got into, I probably would’ve assumed their ‘Blue Album’ was less focused or inferior without even hearing it. Sick, I know.)

Having collected and lived by every song on Heartbreaker over the period of a year (except ‘Bartering Lines’), I finally pitched my well-worn but order-less mp3s, jumped on a late-night bus in time to catch London’s best record-store before it closed and bought this shining knight of a full-length that, well before I’d disarmed its wrapping, had scored many hopes and fears of my confused formative years. Everyone who enjoys introspective folk owes themselves this record. Not only does it explain much of his early, irresponsible Next-Dylan praise, but it’s a document of Ryan Adams pre-fame, before the drugs and before the madness, when he was singing songs as a hung-over romantic and you’d believe every word.

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