On his solo effort "Heartbreaker," Whiskeytown's Ryan Adams just wants to have a good time with some friends. "To Be Young (is to be sad, is to be high)" introduces an easygoing atmosphere, with its wailing blues guitar and tap-your-feet attitude. Midway through the disc, Adams takes a leisurely stroll through his deepest se-crets. ("I'm as calm as a fruit stand in New York and maybe as strange") And then it's on to wavering, drenched-pillow confessions: "I just wanna die without you/ honey I ain't nothing new," he sighs in "Call Me On Your Way Back Home."
In addition to his sometimes hearty, sometimes subtle voice, Adams has the tricky ability to write songs that kidnap your senses with a cozy familiarity. Then he'll bring in an odd chord, vocal inflection or string arrangement you'd never think would fit. He also doesn't hide his influences: a splash of Beatles, a dash of Dylan and a hint of Hank Sr. Adams is part of a fine class of musicians who swirl early country and early punk into an oh-so-tantalizing combo.