100 Best Albums of the 2000s
Ryan Adams, 'Heartbreaker'
"When you're young, you get sad, then you get high," whooped Ryan Adams on his solo debut. As the leader of alt-country heroes Whiskeytown, Adams had written his fair share of songs about youth, sadness and altered states. But Heartbreaker gave these themes a classic heft, in weather-beaten country-folk songs that marked Adams as an heir to the Band and Gram Parsons. Best of all was the slow-rolling "In My Time of Need," an alternately devastating and transcendent neo-Dust Bowl ballad. "Can you take away the pain of hurtful deeds?" he sang, sounding plenty sad, but not quite so young, or so high.
• Rolling Stone's Original 2000 Review