On his own, Adams strips down and adopts a deeply melancholy mood that stems, in proper country fashion, from the recent "loss of a lover." While tunes like "My Winding Wheel" and the exquisite Emmylou Harris duet "Oh My Sweet Carolina" add persuasively to the frequent and favorable comparisons between Adams and Gram Parsons, too much of Heartbreaker is given over to stark, minimalist compositions that succeed only in reflecting Adams's bummed-out mood. Songs like "To Be the One," "In My Time of Need" and "Who Do They Leave?" are mere wisps of songs that seem to function more as tortured emotional releases than, well, songs. For all the considerable talent he displays here and elsewhere, Adams sounds like a lonely guy who's discovered comfort and redemption by immersing himself in the memory of a failed relationship. Trouble is, that sort of thing is usually only redeeming for the fellow playing the guitar.