November 28, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
We gave it a B+

Hell was intended to be the rabble-rousing singer’s latest album, but his label rejected it (reportedly for being too depressing), instead releasing the fun-but-undercooked ”Rock N Roll.” ”Hell,” meanwhile, has been split into a pair of EPs. What were they thinking? Produced by John Porter (the Smiths), this eight-song first installment shares some influences — the Replacements, ’80s English alt-pop — with ”Rock N Roll,” but the writing is tighter, the production cleaner, and the performances more considered. In fact, the only real disappointments are a pointless cover of ”Wonderwall” and the fact that we have to wait until Dec. 9 for the rest of it.

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