Personnel: Ryan Adams (vocals, guitar, piano); Greg Leisz, Johnny McNabb (guitar); Jon Cleary (10-string guitar, piano, Wurlitzer piano); Ruth Gotlieb (violin); Sarah Wilson (cello); Joe McGinty (piano); Ian McLagan (Wurlitzer piano, Hammond b-3 organ); Johnny Pisano, Hutch Hutchinson (bass guitar); Ricky Fataar, Paul Garisto (drums); Marianne Faithfull, Julie Delgado, Debra Parson (background vocals).
Recording information: Piety Street Studios, New Orleans, Lousiana; Cello Studios, Hollywood, California; Globe Studios, New York, New York.
The confusing, complex saga of LOVE IS HELL--initially rejected by the label, then begrudgingly issued as two EPs before it finally saw the light of day as a full album--would be just an interesting footnote if not for the shockingly high quality of the material itself. In between his incarnations as alt-country troubadour and Strokes-friendly garage-rocker, Ryan Adams turned out what just might be the best record of his career. A beautiful, bittersweet journey through heartbreak, it's a ballad-heavy album that bears echoes of Jeff Buckley and Britpop acts from the Smiths to Coldplay. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Smiths producer John Porter is on hand to assist the formerly earthy Americana artist in his transition to fragile, melodic, Anglo-adoring balladeer. While the original EPs were weighty documents in and of themselves, LOVE IS HELL's full-length version bears an even greater emotional impact, as the mood is allowed to establish itself gradually and dramatically, pulling the listener into a very personal world of gorgeously observed romantic tragedy.
|2.||Afraid Not Scared|
|3.||This House Is Not For Sale|
|4.||Anybody Wanna Take Me Home|
|5.||Love Is Hell|
|8.||World War 24|
|10.||My Blue Manhattan|
|11.||Please Do Not Let Me Go|
|12.||City Rain, City Streets|
|13.||I See Monsters|
|14.||English Girls Approximately|
|15.||Thank You Louise|
|16.||Hotel Chelsea Nights|
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