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Ryan Adams - "Rock n Roll" & "Love Is Hell (part I)"

Old 11-05-03, 05:28 PM
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Ryan Adams - Love Is Hell (Parts 1 & 2); Rock N Roll

the two new RA came out Nov. 4

Rock n Roll is a more upbeat full length

Love Is Hell (both parts are now in stores)

it's more slow, ballad-oriented songs. 8 tracks - 34 minutes
best buy has RnR for $9.99 and Love Is Hell ep for $5.99

this is great music folks. if you already like RA then this continues his string of music.

Last edited by Frank TJ Mackey; 12-10-03 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 11-05-03, 06:09 PM
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I've read Penny Lane's reviews on Tiny Mix Tapes, but I'll ask a more direct question:

I think "Heartbreaker" is a mostly great album, "Gold" has a few (but not many) good songs buried among the dreck, "Pneumonia" is pretty good, but a bit mellow, and "Faithless Street" is uneven but with some great uptempo stuff (yeah, I'm tossing in the Whiskeytown stuff). Haven't heard "Demolition" or "Strangers Almanac." Which (if any) of these new albums am I most likely to enjoy?

Thanks.
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Old 11-05-03, 06:58 PM
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Crazy, I was just about to start a thread on these two CD's after listening to them on my way home tonight...

For the most part, "Love is Hell, Pt. 1" seems to be, upon my first couple of spins, a more familiar Ryan Adams sound. Most of the songs fall somwhere between "Heartbreaker" and "Demolition," in the sense that they are, for the most part, mellowed out songs with a bit more production than the "Heartbreaker" songs. "Come Pick Me Up" off of "Heartbreaker" would be a good reference point to this EP, but none of these songs quite match that song's greatness.

"Rock N' Roll" on the other hand, upon first listen, seemed to be a very generic rock album. If you've ever read any interviews where Ryan Adams said that he didn't want to play "alt-country" anymore, this would be enough proof for that. At first, I found a majority of the songs to be very disposable, and at times, the album seems like it would fit right in place with mid-90's-radio-rock albums. There are a handful of tracks that actually are worth listening to; as I listened to it a couple of more times, I didn't hate it as much as I thought I did...and "Anybody Wanna Take Me Home" is a damn beautiful little tune! As a whole, it is not very comparable to any of Ryan Adams' other works, which could be a good thing, except that sometimes, the rocking songs just feel a bit awkard and unnatural.

Of the two, I would say that "Love is Hell, Pt. 1" is more worth owning. It baffles me that Lost Highway found "Rock N' Roll" to be more worth releasing as an album over "Love is Hell," but I guess they wanted something more unlike anything that he's done before.

SAShepherd: Do pick up "Strangers Almanac" if you get a chance. If you liked the uptempo stuff off "Faithless Street," then "Strangers Almanac" is totally for you! In my opinion, it's the best Whiskeytown album.
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Old 11-05-03, 07:12 PM
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I've been debating which of these to pick up--or both to pick up. From what I've read about Rock n' Roll, yeah, generic guitar radio anthems, but Love is Hell from a quick gleaning, sounds great. I will probably eventually pick up both. Thanks for the reviews, gents.
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Old 11-06-03, 03:18 AM
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I think Rock N Roll is nice for a change of pace. I thoroughly enjoy Ryan Adam's aching vocals on COme Pick Me Up and stuff like that but I am such a fan of the guy now that I don't even care. I'm enjoying RnR because it's him. He has his own voice to the tracks. Love Is Hell I like too.

It's hard to say with him. He strikes me as more of a /if you like him then you'll like most of his stuff.

I loved the GOLD album. New York song was generic but stuff like
"La Cienega Just Smiled" and others are great IMO.
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Old 11-06-03, 08:22 AM
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I take back anything that may have sounded negative about "Rock N' Roll" from my last post. After giving the cd another listen on my way into work this morning, I must say that I do enjoy it, for the most part. Beneath the so-so rock production of the album lies RA's pure songwriting talent--and he really does come up with great stuff on here. Granted, "1974" is still a garbage piece of song, and "Note to Self: Don't Die" could have been written by a Kurt Cobain tribute band...overall, RA's transition to "straight-up rock" has been a bit shakey, but it brings him closer to what could be some brilliant Rn'R!
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Old 11-06-03, 11:04 AM
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It really depends on what kind of sound you like. Personally, I like Love is Hell much better.

I like Rock N Roll, but the way mixed up guitars get to me before long. There are a few songs on there that shouldn't have been recorded. For instance, "She's Lost Total Control" and "The Drugs not Working." I could really do without both of those songs. "Anybody Wanna Take me Home" is excellent, though.

SAShepherd, based on what you wrote, there's probably a chance you would like both albums, but I would guess Love is Hell to be safe.
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Old 11-06-03, 04:39 PM
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i just think it's an unwillingness by "indie" fans to let musicians expand their sound. rock n roll sounds exactly like the logical extension of gold. it's poppy with a rock twang, but all the lyrics could have been and might be older material. i don't know a single band that enjoys playing the same style for a number of years. he made a change that might alienate some of his fanbase, and if it does, ***** them. the music is still extremely interesting. he got my $10, and not many bands today do that. this album is no demolition, but it's just as good as gold or heartbreaker.
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Old 11-06-03, 07:05 PM
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Originally posted by deadlax
i just think it's an unwillingness by "indie" fans to let musicians expand their sound. rock n roll sounds exactly like the logical extension of gold. it's poppy with a rock twang, but all the lyrics could have been and might be older material. i don't know a single band that enjoys playing the same style for a number of years. he made a change that might alienate some of his fanbase, and if it does, ***** them. the music is still extremely interesting. he got my $10, and not many bands today do that. this album is no demolition, but it's just as good as gold or heartbreaker.
It's funny how "Boys" was written in direct response to Britney Spears' song of the same title.
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Old 11-06-03, 09:20 PM
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Originally posted by deadlax
this album is no demolition, but it's just as good as gold or heartbreaker.
Is that to say that Demolition is better that Gold or Heartbreaker, or not as good as the two?
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Old 11-06-03, 09:38 PM
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demolition is the perfect collection of ryan adams songs, most likely because it was culled from a series of sessions. while i "celebrate his entire catalogue" demolition would probably be one of my top 50-100 albums. I could not say the same about gold or heartbreaker.

wish you were here is currently my favorite song on rock n roll
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Old 11-08-03, 02:03 PM
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After listening to "Rock N Roll" a few times, I must say it has grown on me. I would have to agree with some of the other posts, saying that some of the songs were disposable, but it is still definitely worth a listen.

On a side note, for fans of Ryan Adams, you should check out the Damnwells. www.thedamnwells.com They have several mp3s that you can check out. I suggest downloading "Sleep Singing" and then everything else. Also, the Damnwells' drummer is the former drummer of Whiskeytown.

Kyle
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Old 11-09-03, 04:45 AM
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there is a bonus track on the UK version for those that have to have it. you can find it at the Amazon UK website on the tracklist.
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Old 11-09-03, 02:17 PM
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Originally posted by Frank TJ Mackey
there is a bonus track on the UK version for those that have to have it. you can find it at the Amazon UK website on the tracklist.
One of the many reasons why I hate Lost Highway. I've heard that LiH has a bonus track too, on the UK version. Anybody have this one that can tell?

That bonus track is supposed to be "Halloween," which is a really good song.
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Old 11-09-03, 09:40 PM
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Love is Hell is amazing, one of the best releases I've heard this year. Rock N Roll is good, not great. Well worth my $9.99 though.
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Old 12-02-03, 05:44 PM
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Boy, I'm really enjoying "Rock N Roll" myself. It's very different from Gold and Heartbreaker but it's still the same artist, with a great voice and some incredibly hooky songs. Reminds me a bit of the Replacements. I can't get "This Is It" out of my head.

Haven't heard "Love Is Hell" yet (have a hard time buyng EPs for some reason, wish they'd done it as one album) but I did d/l his cover of "Wonderwall" which I really dig, the only worthwhile song by Oasis I've ever heard.
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Old 12-08-03, 11:00 PM
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I just picked up part 2 today. My local record store put it out early. I've gotten through the first two tracks and I must say its amazing. So far, I like it more than part 1. I'm going to listen to more...

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Old 12-08-03, 11:08 PM
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Originally posted by Sierra Disc

Haven't heard "Love Is Hell" yet (have a hard time buyng EPs for some reason, wish they'd done it as one album) but I did d/l his cover of "Wonderwall" which I really dig, the only worthwhile song by Oasis I've ever heard.
Just a heads up--Apparently, Lost Highway is planning to discontinue the discs and put it out as one pretty soon. Have I mentioned that I HATE Lost Highway?
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Old 12-09-03, 09:42 AM
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Best Buy has Part II for $4.99 (with free shipping on their web site)... any reviews in addition to KV's? I'm tempted to get it, but would prefer to wait for any combined disc with Part I.
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Old 12-09-03, 06:54 PM
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Originally posted by SAShepherd
Best Buy has Part II for $4.99 (with free shipping on their web site)... any reviews in addition to KV's? I'm tempted to get it, but would prefer to wait for any combined disc with Part I.
My favorites on Part 2 are "City Rain, City Streets" and "English Girls Approximately."

I'm disappointed that they left off "Halloween" from the Love is Hell sessions. I think you can get that track on the European version of Love is Hell Pt. 1.
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Old 12-09-03, 10:08 PM
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picked up Part II today for $5.

I like the fact that just becaues the record company didn't like it that they still released it.

I will take the 2 ep's and be happy.
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Old 12-09-03, 11:28 PM
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Originally posted by Frank TJ Mackey
picked up Part II today for $5.

I like the fact that just becaues the record company didn't like it that they still released it.

I will take the 2 ep's and be happy.
I'm really hoping he's not signed with them for much longer. They were so against the promotion of the Love is Hell discs that they wouldn't even send promo copies to music critics.

Luke Lewis of Lost Highway has already talked about how difficult he is to deal with on a professional level.
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Old 12-10-03, 05:24 AM
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Originally posted by Penny Lane
I'm really hoping he's not signed with them for much longer. They were so against the promotion of the Love is Hell discs that they wouldn't even send promo copies to music critics.

Luke Lewis of Lost Highway has already talked about how difficult he is to deal with on a professional level.
I have read feature articles on Ryan Adams in damn near every publication on earth in the last couple of months.

He's obviously very talented, but he can be kinda crazy sometimes, which is good for a an artist.

I just wish he would get on the road and tour all over the place.

I have looked on Amazon.com/UK for the bonus songs and only the Rock N Roll lists a bonus track.

But I know on his website he said there are a lot of b-sides, maybe they're just not listed.

I know one thing, and that is that I'm not paying for a Japanese import just for a couple of bonus tracks.

I've bought I've bought 8 records of his or his bands now I wanna download the b-sides.

I'm loving the 2 ep's. When he has that slow drawl and aching going on it's just magic in my opinion.

From the moments someone introduced me to "Heartbreaker" this guy became one of my all-time favorite artists.

I didn't even listen to Whiskeytown until after they broke up.

Good listening!
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Old 12-10-03, 05:38 AM
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He has released more music as a solo artist in less than 5 years that most bands get to release in 15. 3 full length albums, and album of demos, plus the love is hell EPs. At least they are releasing his music, I could care less about Lost Highway's method of promotion. I don't want him to leave. I want to see an Adams/Tift Merritt double bill someday.
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Old 12-10-03, 10:55 AM
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Originally posted by deadlax
He has released more music as a solo artist in less than 5 years that most bands get to release in 15. 3 full length albums, and album of demos, plus the love is hell EPs. At least they are releasing his music, I could care less about Lost Highway's method of promotion. I don't want him to leave. I want to see an Adams/Tift Merritt double bill someday.
Well if it were up to him, he would've released two less in 2003. Rock n Roll wouldn't have happened and Love is Hell would've been released as a proper album back in March/April if his stupid record company hadn't been trying to eke out a hit radio song.

He turned in Love is Hell; they said no. He cut off contact with them for months, using his own money to buy time in the studio to record Rock n Roll. Several of the tracks on Love is Hell (especially Pt. 2), have been tried and true standards at concerts for at least 2 years now. Lost Highway wants to market Adams as something he is not.

Adams is a more prolific artist than most that we see. Some of the bands I like are talented musician, but writing songs seems like work for them, and something that isn't always easy. I just feel that an indie label would give him more creative freedom to record, and who is to say that, given the same artist, other record companies wouldn't release just as many records by him? He's even mentioned himself that he wouldn't mind switching to an indie label.
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