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Love Is Hell
|Price:||CDN$ 12.66 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details|
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Japanese only 2 CD re-issue of his ace 2003 album now includes a bonus disc of seven additional tracks, three of which were only released on the UK EP's, 'Halloween', 'Caterwaul', 'Fuck the Universe' and the remaining four are previously unreleased; 'Twice as Bad as Love', 'Father's Son', 'Gimme Sunshine' and 'Black Clouds'. 23 tracks in all. Universal. 2007.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Love Is Hell" (16 tracks, 65 min.) is of course the true follow-up album to 2001's "Gold" and a great collection of Ryan Adams whining and pining at his best. Standout tracks include "This House is Not For Sale", the haunting Oasis-cover "Wonderwall", "The Shadowlands", "I See Monsters" and "Hotel Chelsea Nights".
Nothing wrong with the music here. Why the label rejected this album is a mystery (probably the same suits that rejected Wilco's "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"). To now issue "Love is Hell" as a true album, mere months after issuing this same collection of songs on separate EPs, is outrageous. I used to think Lost Highway Records was a cool label, not like the "major" labels. Guess I've been proven wrong...
Adams starts off with a sweet piano solo that blossoms into the thoughtful "Political Scientist." Then he sets off on a slightly uneven path of downbeat ballads ("Afraid Not Scared," the piano-led "Avalanche") and meditative rockers (the slow "City Rain City Streets," the bland title song), before rounding off on the melancholy "Hotel Chelsea Nights."
The story of "Love is Hell" is a little strange. Adams created the "Love is Hell" album, only to have it rejected, split in half and released separately, then mashed back together as a single disc. Music execs -- who knows what they think? But the single-disc "Love is Hell" is in some ways better than its separate halves. It feels more cohesive and smooth.
Adams eschews the usual rock instrumentals for a sleeker sound, full of piano solos and spare guitar riffs. His singing is sad, but shows signs of optimism; he wears his heart on his sleeve, and uses it as a guitar pick. And the songwriting is at worst good, at best excellent. "I am going to push them away/falling through the leaves of the winter trees/drowning slowly..." he tells us. And he sounds like he means it.
Now one album (as it was meant to be), Ryan Adams' "Love is Hell" is a dark, chilly, whisky-soaked collection of outstanding rock'n'roll. Love may be hell, but it's a well-crafted hell.
What can I say about Love Is Hell that hasn't already been said? I could say it's brilliant, but we know that. I could talk about the standout tracks, but each track slips easily and sadly into the next one and the next one. Adams hits us in this delectable offering, with lyrics that are downright, dirty depressing. These are not happy songs. They talk about drug-addicted parents, good people's children succumbing to a cruel world, lost loves, being alone, and all of them denote a feeling of utter hopelessness. The album's title track is oddly humorous, but to the point where it's even sadder. But regardless of this inherent depression, this album is like nothing else ever heard by human ears. It is immensely complicated in its delivery, and completely emotional. If one can argue that it is a concept album, it would be easy to say that Adams' character in this utter work of art is a genius (judging by the clever lyrics and the lyrics of the opening track, 'Political Scientist') who has just lost everything, and is on the road to ruin. At the end of the album, he is alone in a room at the Hotel Chelsea, reflecting on his life and losses, and discusses how tired he is of the room and 23rd Street. He's high and lonely. And this is where it leaves us. We can only assume the outcome.Read more ›
Ryan Adams has amazed me once again, coming onto this melodic piece from the much guitar driven "Rock N' Roll". While that album worked good as a whole, showcasing Adams' appreciation for the bands he loves and his somewhat blatant atempt to rip them off, (I mean that in a good sense), "Love is Hell" perhaps worked better as two halves, since both had a different message to send. Part 1 seemed to be the more experimental half, since most songs drifted off of the chorus onto a more musical path, instead of lyrical one. Part 2 had more familiar sounding songs (probably the stronger of the two) as well as beautiful melodies, but it was still unique in a sense as well.
As a whole album, you can't deny the standout songs. Songs like "Please Do Not Let Me Go" and "I See Monsters" remind us of melodically and lyrically strong songs on "demolition". "This House is Not For Sale" and the title track are also wonderfully simple songs with sticking hooks and choruses. And let's not forget the song that fueled album sales, as well as the standout track of Part 1, his cover of Wonderwall, probably the best cover song I've heard since the early day covers of blues hits. He shaped it to be his own song, and we forget sometimes that it was already a hit in the 90's.
Most of the album is well crafted, and I can't imagine why the record company at first wouldn't let him release it. Alas, there are some misses. "Political Scientist" has a wailing a la Morrisey, it seems alomost overdone. "The Shadowlands" also drifts off into nothingness, you forget you're listening to a song.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
The CD case was broken when it arrived. Coming from England all the way to Canada - perhaps it should have been wrapped in something stronger than a bubble envelope.Published on Aug. 30 2010 by Stacey
I discovered Ryan Adams through a few compellation discs I had with songs by him on them. I went out and bought "Love is Hell" and I have to say, it's a GREAT album. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2005
Mr. Adams has made a great record; one that stands with his best work. Now , if he can just keep it together, the breakthrough will come with his next release.Published on Jan. 28 2005 by Music Vet
I am a pretty big Ryan Adams fan...[disclaimer]
I loved his first three cds...Heartbreaker, Gold, and Demolition....these CDs are where the bread and butter are. Read more
with an ability to fusion blues, rock and a vocal style that is nothing short of hynotic. His tune Jesus, Don't Touch My Baby is absolutely spell binding. Read morePublished on July 4 2004
Leaving the manipulative gestures up to his record company (again), Ryan Adams croons his way through a so-so collection of forgettable post-"Gold" schmaltz, from which I... Read morePublished on June 30 2004 by Harold Vintner
Fantastic progression after the stunning Gold. The music industry is littered with record companies passing on or poorly supporting great and different material. Read morePublished on June 26 2004
Amazing, hypnotic, funny, sad...all these things PLUS some of the best melodies I've ever heard!Published on June 22 2004