Love Is Hell, Pt. 2 [EP]

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Released alongside Ryan Adams's 2003 album Rock N Roll, this seven-song EP was recorded with producer John Porter the Smiths, Roxy Music. A companion release, Love Is Hell, Pt. 1, featuring recordings from the same sessions, is also available.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
A month after the first volume of his long-delayed, split-in-two Love Is Hell project hit the stores -- think of it as the aural equivalent of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, only not as fun and not shot in ShawScope -- Ryan Adams trotted out the sequel, a seven-song EP that presents the conclusion to his mope-rock labor of love. If the first installment was drenched ...
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December 9, 2003 CD New in new packaging. Originally released: 2003.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Released alongside Ryan Adams's 2003 album Rock N Roll, this seven-song EP was recorded with producer John Porter the Smiths, Roxy Music. A companion release, Love Is Hell, Pt. 1, featuring recordings from the same sessions, is also available.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
A month after the first volume of his long-delayed, split-in-two Love Is Hell project hit the stores -- think of it as the aural equivalent of Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, only not as fun and not shot in ShawScope -- Ryan Adams trotted out the sequel, a seven-song EP that presents the conclusion to his mope-rock labor of love. If the first installment was drenched in Smiths-ian aspirations, this has a bit of a stronger singer/songwriter bent, with many of the songs rooted in folky acoustic guitars and direct allusions to Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen in song titles. Of course, Adams hasn't left his desire to make an '80s college rock record totally behind, as the heavily processed, flattened echoed guitar on "City Rain, City Streets" proves, but there's enough of a difference between the two EPs to see why they were divided in such a fashion. That said, they share a similar musical aesthetic and are more like separate sides of the same LP than two different records, and both are diminished slightly by existing separately, since it lessens the overall impact of the project and forces comparisons between the two EPs. And in those comparisons, Love Is Hell, Pt. 2 pales with its predecessor, sounding less of a unified work and more like a collection of solid B-sides without a proper home. There's some good work here -- "My Blue Manhattan" is suitably torchy, "English Girls Approximately" an effective Dylan and Paul Westerberg fusion, "Thank You Louise" a nice blend of the Buckleys, and the closer, "Hotel Chelsea Nights," is one of his best songs, a mildly anthemic soulful anthem with vague overtones of "Purple Rain." Like the best moments from both Love Is Hell and Rock N Roll, these tracks illustrate Adams' strength as a synthesist, but that's part of the problem -- they become individual moments, not a whole. Perhaps if they were released as part of a full-length Love Is Hell these songs would have gained resonance from their context, but as released, it's an enjoyable but slightly underwhelming conclusion to a promising but ultimately deeply flawed project.
New York Times - Neil Strauss
"Love Is Hell, pt. 2" is a fantastic EP.... [It's in] the spirit of Nick Drake or Chris Bell, though it also has echoes of Prince, Bob Dylan and the Smiths.... And most importantly, there's not a bad song here.
Rolling Stone - Tom Moon
Seven riveting explorations that don't sound like anything else in [Adams's] songbook.

"Love Is Hell, pt. 2" is a fantastic EP.... [It's in] the spirit of Nick Drake or Chris Bell, though it also has echoes of Prince, Bob Dylan and the Smiths.... And most importantly, there's not a bad song here.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/9/2003
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • UPC: 602498127834
  • Catalog Number: 000154902

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ryan Adams Primary Artist, Guitar, Piano
Marianne Faithfull Background Vocals
Ian McLagan Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer
Jon Cleary Guitar, Piano, Wurlitzer
Julie Delgado Background Vocals
Ricky Fataar Drums
Paul Garisto Drums
James "Hutch" Hutchinson Bass
Greg Leisz Guitar
Joe McGinty Piano
Debra Parson Background Vocals
Sara Wilson Cello
Ruth Gottlieb Violin
Johnny McNabb Guitar
Johnny Pisano Bass
Technical Credits
Ted Jensen Mastering
Joe McGrath Engineer
John Porter Producer
Ryan Adams Composer, Producer, Cover Photo
Tom Schitck Engineer
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