Thursday, November 13, 2008

CD Review - Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - Cardinology

A little late, but here it is, my verdict on the new record. Is anyone going to the Cambridge Corn Exchange show this weekend, if so I'll see you there!



Cardinology, Ryan's fourth official band record is a statement of intent - full on classic rock. That the supporting tour is billed as The Cardinals featuring Ryan Adams is yet more evidence that Ryan wants to leave the solo efforts of "Heartbreaker" and "Gold" behind.

So how does it sound? Well first of all, this album is a grower. Don't expect another "New York New York" or "La Ciegna" here. The Cardinals are continuing the sound developed over previous albums but this time with a louder, more electric garage band feel.

It starts strong. On the opening three songs the Cardinals line up the hits and knock them down. "Born Into A Light" with it's catchy acoustic guitar riff, thedesperate love song "Go Easy" and the single "Fix It" are as good as anything Ryan has produced since "Gold".

After this the album moves onto rocky ground. "Magick" is a sad reminder of the dark, dumb days of Rock 'N' Roll and "Cobwebs" has that terrible over-used line "If I fall will you catch me?". But there are chinks of light - "Let us down easy" and "Crossed Out Name" find the Cardinals on fine form.

Cardinology is a missed opportunity. With a little more quality control it could have been a great album. The patchy second half spoils an album that promised so much. Yet after some repeated listensCardinology, despite it's flaws, is charming and a worthy addition to the Ryan Adams/Cardinals canon.

For fans of: The Grateful Dead, Drive By Truckers, Wilco
Download: Fix It, Go Easy, Let Us Down Easy
Rating: 7/10

Listen now (mp3)
Go Easy
Born Into A Light

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