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Cardinology (UK Version)

Cardinology (UK Version)

1 Jan 2008
3.9 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

£6.99 (VAT included if applicable)
 
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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
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By B. Wright VINE VOICE on 29 Oct. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Cardinology follows much in the same vein as last year's Easy Tiger, though this time the Cardinals are credited as playing on the album. I think it's more cohesive than last year's effort, keeping mostly to one style rather than the mixed bag that was Easy Tiger. Once again these are concise songs, devoid of the extended jams that are the staple at a Cardinals gig. This means that the record is not necessarily an accurate reflection of what the songs will sound like live, but the band bring something that Adams lacked at times with his solo albums, namely focus. Most of these songs are a radio-friendly 3 minutes long, with the longest being album-closer 'Stop' at a little over 5 minutes.
The Cardinals complement Adams well, adding nicely to his alt. country sound with the multiple harmonies and the pedal steel. There are some songs where he seems to be straining a little, particularly the warbled ending to 'Cobwebs', but the vocal performance is good on the whole (I especially like 'Born Into A Light'). Occasionally the lyrics stumble around a little too, as is the case on 'Sinking Ships', however, they are mostly well-written and thought out. 'Fix It' is a pretty single that is inoffensive and likely to appeal to those who enjoyed Easy Tiger, while 'Magick' is the Cardinology equivalent of 'Halloweenhead', complete with ridiculous lyrics and a call and return chorus. On 'Evergreen' it is easy to see the Grateful Dead influence (particularly in the lines 'Maybe you'll find some roots to lay down') in the Reckoning-style acoustic arrangement, but it is a pretty ballad that sounds similar in parts to 'Wildflowers' from Gold.
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Format: Audio CD
The Cardinals blow everything else around at the moment out of the water. Cardinology is right up there with Ryan's best work (Cold Roses, Jcn and Love Is hell). Forget the stupid arguement that Ryan needs an editor, in my view all of his albums bar a minor blip with Rock 'n' Roll are genius.
Back to Cardinolgy, it gets better with every listen. My Favourite tracks change daily, at the moment they are Go Easy, Fix It, Let Us Down Easy, Natural Ghost and Evergreen. These 13 songs have the beauty and simplicity of the Grateful dead at their very best. Thanks again Cardinals.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Such is his release rate that the above says it all. I do like this record, but have only had the chance to really listen to it in the car so may be missing some of the "sonic landscape". Opening with the very strong track "Born into a light". "Fix it" delivers a plaintive Adams vocal and is a grower too. "Crossed out name" is another attractive piece of work. As we have come to expect the support of the Cardinals is very fine. Now time to chase down some of the other recent releases before he delivers another clutch.
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Format: Audio CD
Cardinology is a strange album. On first listen I was distictly unimpressed but then, like many of Ryan Adams best creations, the songs slowly start to lodge in your brain and before long your reaching for the repeat button!

Without doubt this is his most soulful record to date. Songs like Fix It and Like Yesterday have a distinct groove to them. Adams vocal delivery is also of note and used to great effectiveness on songs like Sink Ships, Crossed Out Name (which is not unlike a stripped down Killers!) and Let Us Down Easy (I love the line "every season we spend apart, feels like a thousand to my heart, and in my soul"). Cobwebs would have not been out of place on the excellent Love Is Hell and once again is made by a great vocal melody.

Despite some slight strays into new territory, Adams can still pen a great piano ballad and the haunting Stop builds to a crescendo of beautiful gushing strings. The only slightly out of place song (much like Halloweenhead on Easy Tiger) is Magick, a plodding college rock song, but even this proves catchy after a few listens.

Overall, not quite worthy of a full 5 stars but certainly a good 4 and a half and a real return to form after the somewhat patchy Easy Tiger. Cardinology has a few surprises up its sleeve and is all the more listenable for it.
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