Heartbreaker (Bloodshot) Rating: NNN
The studio banter concerning Morrissey's Suedehead, which opens Heartbreaker (out Tuesday), is more relevant to Ryan Adams's solo debut than the Whiskeytown frontman likely intended. Without the counterbalance of his bandmates, the limitations of a record collection that begins with Dylan and ends with Springsteen become painfully significant.
Although Adams is a precocious songsmith who continues to show an unfailing sense of melody, he too often relies on attitude to pass off unresolved sketches as oblique masterworks. Sometimes he gets away with it, and having Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch on hand to add sweet harmonies helps, but Heartbreaker promises more than Adams delivers. TP