Ryan Adams – Cardinology
November 4, 2008
Singer/songwriter Ryan Adams’s latest album with his band the Cardinals is a true mixed bag, with strong material alternating with weaker material almost every other song. The weaker material isn’t exactly bad, just sort of uninspired, and sometimes afflicted by curiously prosaic lyrics, as on “Sink Ships”: “This position is not open now for applicants” sounds like something that Adams probably intended to have more meaning than it actually does. And “Magick” is an otherwise good rocker almost ruined by the lazy sounding chorus: “So turn the radio up loud and get down / Let your body move / Let your body sway / Listen to the music play…” Musically, Cardinology is Adams’s usual mix of rock, country, blues, folk and Americana, and when it’s good, as on “Born Into A Light,” “Fix It,” “Cobwebs” and the album closer “Stop,” it’s very good. Those songs are the reason to stick with the album, even when it seems rather bland. All in all, a good, but not great Ryan Adams record.