ryan adams Love Is Hell Pt. 2 (Lost Highway) Rating: NNN
Apparently, when you're an alt-country heartbreaker with a trail of celebrity conquests in your wake, love blows so hardcore that it merits not one but two volumes of mopey cryin'-in-your-beer ballads. On the second half of his Love Is Hell set, "Don't call me Bryan" Adams shrugs off his twangy cowboy stud spurs and takes on the guise of a weepy crooner singing the blues after hours in a shabby supper club. There's some nice songwriting and a few surprising cameos (Marianne Faithfull singing backup?), but a lot of the intrigue here lies in trying to decode the inspirations for the songs, such as the blatant English Girls Approximately, which name-checks both Beth Orton and her Daybreaker album, on which Adams shared songwriting credits. Judging from the tune, Adams did a real doozy on her. Poor Beth.