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Ryan Adams - Love Is Hell, PT 1
Label: Lost Highway
Release: 2003

Political Scientist
Afraid Not Scared
This House Is Not For Sale
Love Is Hell
The Shadowlands
World War 24

Love Is Hell, PT 1 - Ryan Adams
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Ryan Adams’ life and personal problems has been the most valuable asset of his career. Without the turmoil in his life, he would be left with little to write about and would probably remain nameless amongst music fans today. However, this is simply not the case, and as proof, Ryan offers up a collective aptly titled Love Is Hell. Apathy has never been Ryan’s forte, and staying true to his formula, this album is littered with songs that will leave you wearing a frown for the rest of the day.

     The album opens up with the sublime “Political Scientists,” creating the basic blueprint for the albums very quiet openings and frantic, sprawling, emotional endings. The finest moment on the album is “This House Is Not For Sale.” In this song we see Adam’s using his great storytelling ability, weaving tons of imagery over a great musical backdrop. Ryan also lends his hand at transforming the lively Oasis song “Wonderwall,” into a 3 in the morning drunk sob song, and it all works brilliantly.

     It all ends with the “World War 24,” and “Avalanche,” which with “This House Is Not For Sale,” are the albums best. “World War 24,” a slow acoustic song which eventually cascades into a closer featuring chaotic lyrics such as “And if we get to high, we’ll burn this town.” “The Avalanche,” is a piano driven song, which ends the album on a perfect note, a beautiful song.

     In short, if you didn’t like Adams before, this collection of albums probably won’t change your mind. Yet, for fans of Ryan Adams, this is heaven sent.


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