Studio Album by released in 2008
Cardinology's tracklist:
Born Into a Light
Go Easy
Fix It
Let Us Down Easy
Crossed Out Name
Natural Ghost
Sink Ships
Like Yesterday

Cardinology review

The third collaboration Ryan Adams & The Cardinals

The creative work of the American country singer and songwriter Ryan Adams who turns 34 this November is first of all interesting for the fact that this unique artist is a friend of many a colleague of his including even sir Elton John. More often than not he takes part in joint performances and plays the role of a producer. During the last several years Adams has been not only recording solo albums but also making some collaborations with the band The Cardinals: their records Cold Roses and Jacksonville City Nights of 2005 have proved quite successful but as it turns out that the saying ‘there is always room for perfection’ refers to this performer as well. The thing is that last year, after the release of his latest solo album Easy Tiger Ryan revealed his alcohol and drug addiction and took a rehab course. No doubt the new way of life has shown in his music and a great way to confirm that is the third work of Ryan Adams & The Cardinals titled Cardinology.

A much more serious approach to work on Cardinology

It goes without saying that there are notable changes to the better both in lyrics and Ryan Adams’ manner of performance on the new creation. First of all Cardinology is a collection demonstrating a much more serious approach to work. The elements of alternative rock in The Cardinals’ playing combine harmoniously with country and blues and the artist’s singing has never been so soulful before. As for the themes, there is a combination of several of those here, including love in a wider sense of the word, the thoughts that appeared during the rehab and Adams’ classic small life observations. Each of the tracks is good as it is and as part of the album for all together they create a special atmosphere of sincerity and soulfulness. The album opens with a beautiful ballad Born Into A Light about the joy of living refined with the guitarists’ splendid work while single Fix It – definitely, one of the singer’s best songs lately – is a sensual piece telling that there are no situations without a way out. An excellent memorable composition Magick pleases with the wonderfully clear vocals whereas song Cobwebs is one of the most romantic on the record. Let Us Down Easy is remarkable for the most vivid chorus and Natural Ghost and Evergreen both please with especially sensual notes. The album closes with the longest composition Stop, probably, one of the frankest songs in all Ryan’s creative work as we learn from it of his darker side and of what psychological testing he has gone through in a past not so remote.

Beautiful soft ballads and more eclectic compositions

In a certain sense album Cardinology is the continuation of Easy Tiger for already then one could trace the theme of sobriety in the songs. Yet this time around we hear a person who tells honestly about himself and his mistakes, unafraid to sound strange or overly frank. No accent on arrangements or playing of some separately taken instruments is made here, the album’s merit being hidden in the songs themselves, in their attitude and message. Calling the album almost after the band Adams has thus expressed not only his gratitude to the musicians but also his complete satisfaction with the result of the joint efforts. Certainly his has all grounds to feel like that as Cardinology will easily find itself among the best works of the artist’s discography. There are both beautiful soft ballads and more eclectic compositions on the disc for which Ryan Adams is compared to Bono of U2. As a matter of fact, each work of Ryan Adams & The Cardinals is interesting and faultless musically but the third one has turned out also the most harmonious.

Alexandra Zachernovskaya (01.11.2008)
Rate review4.18
Total votes - 11

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