Will Hermes
January 05, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Love Is Hell Pt. 2

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Ryan Adams
Producers
Lost Highway

We gave it a B

”I could be anything,” sang Adams on ”Love Is Hell Pt. 1,” and that’s his main problem. For the Love Is Hell Pt. 2 EP, part two of the melancholy LP initially rejected by his label (who sent him back to make the rowdier, somewhat play-acted ”Rock ‘n’ Roll”), he’s a sad lounge crooner (”My Blue Manhattan”), a kiss-‘n’-tell Dylan (”English Girls Approximately”), and a skid-row Prince (the ”Purple Rain”-beckoning ”Hotel Chelsea Nights”). It’s impressive, if knocked-off-sounding, and yes: Song for song, the EPs trump ”Rock ‘n’ Roll.” But they also perpetuate the image of Adams as scattershot chameleon instead of showing him as an artist who digs deep. We’re rootin’ for ya, dude.

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