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Love Is Hell

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Editors’ Notes

Love Is Hell was initially released in two parts, as EPs, that trended away from Adams’ Americana persona and towards a dark night of the soul. The 16-track version combines the two EPs and includes several cuts not available on the original releases. Adams was always exquisite with dark piano ballads and the emotive reach of these recordings make his various attempts at emulating his many musical heroes riveting and intriguing. He hired Smiths producer John Porter to man the studio controls, but the “mope rock” that Adams unleashed is purely his own. “Political Scientist” sets the menacing tone. “Afraid Not Scared” is an acoustic-based wail. His cover of Oasis’ “Wonderwall” slows the song to a crawl, turning the song into something of an Adams original. “Avalanche,” it should be noted, is not the Leonard Cohen song. “My Blue Manhattan” kicks off “Pt. 2” and retains the dark patina of the first set. While Adams’ star persona is one of extreme confidence, songs such as “Please Do Not Let Me Go” are beautifully vulnerable. “I See Monsters” is chilling. Don’t let Adams’ prolific nature scare you off. Take your time and digest it at your own speed.

Customer Reviews

Take a Night Drive and listen to this album

This is Adam's best album, soothing and lovely. He truly captures the emotions of a human being. For an emotional experience and awakening listen to this CD while driving a back country road or "lost highway" and it will bring tears to your eyes. Just beautiful..definetly paints a picture of the beauty's and sorrows of life.

Rainy Day Music for Adams Fans

Ryan Adams ought to release a box set for every possible mood you might have. He certainly has enough material. Love is Hell is his attempt at creating an album with a gloomy, rainy day sound, and he for the most part achieves what he sought out to do. The first half of the album came out the same day as Rock N Roll, and as usual, he would have done better to edit himself and release one album with the best material from both. Still, there are a number of excellent songs on this disc, and it works in many ways better than the "bigger release," Rock N Roll. This House is Not For Sale is a great song, one of his best and one of the least gloomy songs on the album. The title track is another good song, although I like some of his live versions of it better. Wonderwall got a grammy nomination, so it is worth listening to, but by no means should it overshadow the rest of the album. World War 24 and I See Monsters (another song better live) are great as well. However, songs like the Shadowlands, My Blue Manhattan, City Rain, City Streets, and Thank You Louise have a tendency to run together and not stand out from each other. English Girls Approximately is a direct Dylan reference, (Queen Jane Approximately) and the guitar parts are pure "Tangled Up in Blue." Hotel Chelsea Nights is a nice exclamation point on a pretty good album that might have been a classic with better packaging and editing. Those discovering Adams for the first time are best served starting with Gold, Heartbreaker, or his recent release, Cold Roses and continuing on to Demolition and Love is Hell.

Reviewer forget the personality and enjoy the music

The reviewer discounts Adam's talent. He loses himself in Adams personality rather than the music. I disdain Adam's self glorifying attitude but maybe he should be given his due. He is discredited because of the sheer volume of music he produces. But maybe that is why he should be held to a higher level rather than a higher standard. Any songwriter will tell you that coming up with a good song is hard enough on its own never mind trying to tie them together. I have'nt bought an album in a while that captures a mood from start to finish. With so many albums being too emphemeral to warrant purchasing it is refreshing to find someone that crafts not only songs but storybooks of mood and ambience. My advice forget the personality and enjoy the music. All the songs are great and each one seems eerily familiar, which almost adds to the melancholy of this album. Especially like "city rain, city streets", "shadowlands", "I see monsters" but the rest is great.

Love Is Hell, Ryan Adams
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Customer Ratings