Ashley M. from SWAINSBORO, GA Reviewed on 8/11/2010...
It Moves Me
Blackberries | PA | 06/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sometimes sad songs feel so right. They bring you down and bring you up. The melancholia probes your emotions like a taser, causing you to wince at the slightest lilt or change in tone. A single note can break your heart and one lonely word can bring you to tears. When you're in this disposition of augmented sensitivity, and your feelings have been broken and battered, I'm sure the thought that Ryan Adams brilliantly exposes often sticks out in your mind like a fluorescent billboard: "Love Is Hell". The songs on this incredible ep all attest to the pain and suffering that are often brought about by the debilitation of heartbreak. The gambit of crestfallen piano tinkles that begin My Blue Manhattan forebode the entrancing despair that later follows on the album. This opening number, to me, is the ideal song for drunkenly sobbing in an empty bar-room at 4 in the morning. It's tired, lonesome, despressed and exactly what you need. Following this inebriated wallowing is my favorite song on Love Is Hell, Please Do Not Let Me Go. I won't write much about it, because too many feelings overwhelm me when listening to it. It's just so sad and so beautiful, a song that makes you wonder how the hell a person can pinpoint seemingly inexplicable emotions in a breathtaking ballad of desolation. The third song, City Rain, City Lights, starts out in a more uplifting manner, but ends in an astounding crescendo of despair, "I am going to push them away, fall into the leaves of the winter trees, drowning slowly, lonely, my city rain." The next number, I See Monsters, calls Elliot Smith (r.i.p.) to mind with its eerie, paranoid folk aura. Conjuring the sheer terror of true love, this song is both startling and strangely enchanting. English Girls Approximately follows in the most positive and cheery manner of any of the previous songs. It's a bit long and rambling, but still a very solid tune. Thank You Louise brings the mood back down again in describing the sorrowful life of Mary Louise and the passing away of one of her children. Concluding the sadness of Love Is Hell is Hotel Chelsea Nights, one of the most brilliant and beautiful album codas I've heard in a long, long time. The anthemic chant "Strung out like some christmas lights, out there in the chelsea nights" will stay with you for months. In a word, this ep is absolutely stunning from start to finish. I especially recommend it for those who are down, but I'm sure that anyone can appreciate the heart and soul that Ryan and Adams put into this fantastic recording."
A Very Talented Man
Phil Beasley | Hull, Yorkshire, UK | 07/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Love is Hell Part 2 is astonishing. It seems ridiculous that Adams' record company was not willing to put the Love Is Hell albums out.
The album emanates a quiet, late night with a bottle of wine and a candle. The beautiful melodies are full of sincere thought and emotion.
English Girls Approximately is the standout track but nothing on this album lets you down. Excellent stuff."
Rebecca Magenheim | chandler, az | 10/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ryan Adams never stops amazing me . . . this is no exception. . . . This album is nothing short or great . . . and as always his lyrics are piercingly emotional. . . I love this album and love Ryan Adams"