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Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker (2000) 

I remember being at an under age disco around ’97 in my hometown of Warragul and the ‘Rage Against The Machine’ song ‘Killing in the Name Of’ came on. Every kid in the scout hall shouted the words back at the speakers as one with their fists in the air. They really meant it. It was the time of grunge and teen angst. Only problem was, I didn’t have any. I liked my parents, I was happy enough at school and if I had’ve been in charge of the set list at the “Underage Rage” I probably would’ve played the hits of Van Morrison, the Beach Boys and Joe Cocker. In a strange way, I felt like an outsider in a generation of kids that identified with being outsiders. For me, the angst came later.

Ryan Adams’ debut solo record ‘Heartbreaker’ came at a time in my life where the shine of childhood was just starting to fade and the big, bad world was starting to show its face. You know how it is, work*, chicks, phone reception – the usual adult stuff. I might not have connected with my brethren in the Rage Against The Machine choir, but the down and out cowboy drinking his nostalgia straight up, just fit. ‘Heartbreaker’ is an achingly beautiful record. I listen to it often and still enjoy it as much as the first time. He might be a pain the arse ol’ RA, but he sure can sing. This record is stacked full of great tunes, beautiful harmonica and the gorgeous backing vocals of Emmylou. Damn, Sam, I love a record that rains.

(*Bob is still unsure if playing football is work)



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