Quick Review (LP): Cardinology by Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals
Lost Highway; 2008

My Rating: C (48/100)

Best Tracks: "Born Into A Light", "Go Easy", "Natural Ghost", "Sink Ships"

An easy-listening hard rock record. In other words, a misstep.


  • I dig the laid-back groove of "Born Into A Light." It’s hard to beat Adams playing alt-country with a crack band.
  • "Go Easy" is sort of gorgeous, though not outstanding.
  • "Natural Ghost" sort of sounds like Queensryche. That’s a good thing.
  • "Stop" sounds like a Love Is Hell leftover.
  • This is a strong guitar album. The band uses a lot of different guitar styles, and their playing is excellent.
  • Falls short on the songwriting front, and the album lacks any sort of grand vision. Also, I mean that thing up there about easy listening hard rock.
  • All in all, a frustratingly average record. There’s a few strong moments early on, but all interest is lost by the end. It’s as if Adams mistakes his prodigious talent and crack backing band for excellence itself. Unfortunately, it just don’t work that way.
  • As Adams’ career progresses, he seems to be more into the guitar playing. He’s playing hard rock these days. Given his prolific songwriting and manic personality, he’s sort of like a hybrid of Rivers Cuomo and Axl Rose. Think about it.
  • Pitchfork review is spot on.

Cohesion (3/5)
Concept (3/5)
Consequence (4/5)
Consistency (3.5/5)
Songs (3.5/5)