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Ryan Adams “Love” in Limbo

Singer-songwriter’s third Lost Highway album on the rocks

Ryan Adams says he’s done with his new album, but Lost Highway
records doesn’t agree.

Love Is Hell is finished,” writes the
singer-songwriter on his Web site, of the album once reportedly
targeted for a March release. “We don’t know what to do with it . .
. or should I say ‘they’ don’t know what to do with it. I’ve heard
adjectives like ‘incredibly too depressing’ and — this one’s funny
— ‘dark.’ Also ‘not your best stuff.’

Lost Highway sees it differently. “It was never supposed to come
out in March,” says Frank Callari, Senior Vice-President of
A&R/Artist Development for the label, and Adams’ manager. “Ryan
wanted it to come out in March. He originally did some tracks in
September, but then he started to rework some stuff. That isn’t
done yet. It’s not on the release schedule. I’m not sure when it
will be done.”

Adams blames the label’s adversity to Love Is Hell‘s
sound, not the recording schedule, for its delay. “When I
originally mixed the album myself in NYC, they said it was too
experimental and rough sounding . . . same people who love the
White Stripes album,” Adams continues. “And now I think they just
think it’s too alternative rock or something. ‘Too dark,’ ha ha
ha.”

Despite an abundance of press, Adams’ three solo albums —
Heartbreaker, Gold and the demo collection
Demolition — have combined for sales of just over
500,000, according to SoundScan, substantially less than the
similarly hyped White Stripes (690,000 of White Blood
Cells
) and the Strokes (879,000 of Is This It) have
sold for just one record.

Adams and Lost Highway do agree that a long-rumored box set is
still in the works, with Callari predicting a release inside of a
year. The set will include 48 Hours and The Suicide
Handbook
, his previously unreleased albums with his rock &
roll side project the Pinkhearts, as well as sessions he recorded
with producers Scott Litt and Michael Blair.

The box may even include another delayed record: Love Is
Hell
. Writes Adams, “It may fit better with this set.”

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