Will Hermes
January 09, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Love Is Hell Pt. 2

Current Status
In Season
Ryan Adams
Lost Highway

We gave it a B

RYAN ADAMS Love Is Hell pt. 2 (Lost Highway)

”I could be anything,” sang Adams on Love Is Hell pt. 1, and that’s his main problem. For this EP — part 2 of the melancholy LP initially rejected by his label (which sent him back to make the rowdier Rock N Roll) — he’s a sad lounge crooner (”My Blue Manhattan”), a kiss-and-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 a scattershot chameleon instead of showing him as an artist who digs deep. We’re rootin’ for ya, dude.

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