Top positive review
23 people found this helpful
The `sentimental geek' strikes gold (again)
on 17 October 2008
I have been a fan of Ryan Adams since his Whiskeytown days. It is great to see him in such good form. The Cardinals are providing a fantastic vehicle for his song writing and performing. The live shows (many of them soundboard recordings) on the Archive.org give a sense of a fantastically talented band - all top musicians who actually sound better live than they do on record.
I have been listening to Cardinology pretty constantly for a few days now. It's an instantly likeable record, with sing along chorus and a pop sensibility much in the vein of Easy Tiger - but thankfully not quite so smoothly polished in the production. 12 songs (I haven't heard the addittional track on the UK release) in a little over 40 minutes also contribute to the short pop song feel of the record as a whole, but especially the opening 5 tracks. Fix It has been chosen as the first promotional track - and it is a pretty and radio friendly track - but ultimately not one of the strongest tracks here. Magick has an instant crowd pleasing hook - the duelling guitars mixing with the call and response - `what goes around comes around' refrain. Cobwebs is a great song, brooding, beguiling Cardinals at their best. But what `confusing my love for the cobwebs' actually means is anyone's guess. `Let us down easy' leaves the rock / pop territory of the early tracks for Willie Nelson country. Sink Ship departs from the verse chorus verse structure to create a song with a stupendous build towards a climax - the dense atmosphere, beguiling harmonies landing the first real emotional punch of this album. The complete stunner is left until the final track. `Stop' starts as a quiet piano and vocal (the rest of the album is very guitar orientated). The intensity builds as the song progresses bringing in a simply gorgeous string section. Probably the best rehab song I have ever heard and a note of optimism that Ryan is going from strength to strength with the Cardinals