Love Is Hell, Part 1 [EP] Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Summary: Love Is Hell, Part 1 is one-half of the planned 'Love Is Hell' full-length that Adams had intended as his official follow-up to 2001's 'Gold' until Lost Highway refused to release it intact (instead encouraging the singer to record a more upbeat LP, 'Rock n Roll'). John Porter (The Smiths) produces.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. 100
    Some of the best songs he's written since Heartbreaker. [Jan 2004, p.98]
  2. Some of the most focused, artful, and affecting work of his career. [Review applicable to both Part 1 and Part 2]
  3. Part 1's eight deluxe country rock essays all impress. [Feb 2004, p.98]
  4. More commercial - and much better - than 'Rock'n'Roll', occasionally resembling the grandstand melancholia of Coldplay, and more frequently their antecedents The Smiths and Jeff Buckley. [Review applicable to both Part 1 and Part 2]
  5. 67
    Everything is underwritten or overwrought. [Feb 2004, p.104]
  6. If Love Is Hell, Pt. 1 has the edge over Rock n Roll, it's because it's more carefully considered in its production and writing, and he manages to hide his allusions better than he does on Rock, where every title and chord progression plays like an homage.
  7. A collection of preposterously cheerless (and charmless) songs that try much too hard to achieve a poignancy-- or anything, really-- that might hide their complete insignificance.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. ZachJ
    May 16, 2006
    Wow, the Pitchfork review Of Love is Hell (parts I&2) is by far, their most misguided effort yet. This is not only Adams' best album, as a whole, but is also one of the few albums in general that I consider "perfect... Not "perfect" as in flawless, but perfect in its current state where I wouldn't change the perceived flaws. Adams eschews the alt-country and rock labels on his previous albums and conquers the 80's brit-popish, delightfully depressing vibe. Yes, it does take a few spins to fully appreciate, but man oh man, is the payoff great... Tough to even list favorite songs as the album plays best from start to finish. Expand
  2. J
    Dec 24, 2004
    Best cd of the year, best Ryan Adam's cd and best of the 2 parts of Love is hell! Astonidhing Can't believe that this cd only has an overall of 71, it's even better than Elliott Smith postume album Expand
  3. JoeyP
    Feb 1, 2004
    I can understand why his company didn't want to release it, it does not contain a song which would be a hit. But Adams is right: this is a masterpiece - beautifully crafted and emotionally played. Vunerable and tender. Brilliant! Expand
  4. DanielG
    Dec 16, 2003
    Some of his finest songs...
  5. MaikenS
    Nov 7, 2005
    Simply love it.
  6. Sep 5, 2011
    A spectacular display of raw emotion, particularly in the album's creme de la creme, 'Avlanche' and 'The Shadowlands'. Adams covers 'Wonderwall' beautifully, to an extent that I can bear to listen to the meaning behind it as he gives it a meaning. So mellow, yet so powerful in what it delivers on quality of sound and the enigmatic yet decipherable messages of passion, beauty in nature, and, perhaps the most significant, the hope of a bright future - this truly is his crowning glory. Expand
  7. BenJ
    Dec 17, 2003
    A considerable improvement on the uneven "Rock and Roll", this record offers the nearest Adams' has come to matching "Heartbreaker". Love Is Hell Part 2 is equally enjoyable, and gives a glimpse as to what might have happened if Adams had been able to release this as a single album...the question is though, which songs would he had left off?! Expand

See all 10 User Reviews