2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Another day another Ryan Adams album,
This review is from: Love Is Hell Pt.1 (Audio CD)
This release puzzles me. It's the word 'EP' I take objection to. There's 45 minutes of music here and 10 songs. Why is this billed (and even sold at a reduced price) as an EP? Strange. You get the idea that this is somehow sub-par material, but in reality it is not. Okay, so there's a cover of "Wonderwall", but other than that what we get is 9 new songs in full band versions. Apparently these are songs from a scrapped album project called Love Is Hell.
So far so good. It's been 2 years and 2 months since Gold was released. That album is by far my favorite of all Ryan Adams albums. In the meantime we got a shabby collection of demos ( Demolition ) and a single with a couple of b-sides ("Nuclear"). Then now all of a sudden the man hits us with 40 songs in the space of a month ( Love Is Hell - Volume 2 is released a month from now containing 9 songs. The single "So Alive" comes with a total of 5 b-sides on 7", CD1 & CD2, Rock'n'Roll comes with 2 bonus tracks in Japan). So here I am trying to take it all in.
Love Is Hell - Volume 1 plays like an album. And that is good. I heard somewhere that the inspiration for this album was Disintegration, and while this is nowhere near as good as said album, I think you can detect the presence of Robert Smith in some of these songs. It reminds me more of the unfocused Bloodflowers though. And the plodding guitar and bass infernos of said melancholic band are sadly absent. But there's an air of introspection and an array of songs of the sort that Adams does so well: ballads.
So - if you're a fan of Ryan's earlier work and you are a bit afraid of what he's up to these days, then shell out for this one - not Rock'n'Roll. It's Ryan in a rut in a way, but Ryan-in-a-rut rules! Still I would have preferred the best of the two EP's as one album, because I doubt I'll return much to this after a few months. Even better - a single disc of the best songs from the two EPs AND Rock'n'Roll. Now there's an idea...