Ryan Adams & The Cardinals- Cardinology

Whether its commercially successful or commercial suicide no one can deny the talent of Ryan Adams. I’ve seen him at his best around the time of ‘Heartbreaker’, ‘Gold’ and his worst at the gig the day before he fell off the stage in Liverpool and broke his arm and his pissing about to piss of the record company ‘Rock N Roll’ and just recently his reinvigoration with his band The Cardinals which continues where last album Cold Roses left off. Here where Ryan puts the name of the band first before his own you do get a sense of collaboration rather than ego and a sense that the songs wouldn’t be as good if all weren’t pulling their weight equally, with that said this then is his most accessible songs in ages. They are catchy and fun, emotional without plunging the depth of his ‘Love is hell’ days and musically much more diverse. Yes there is still the main tag of alt.country but now you can add pop, rock and even eighties alongside. Songs like ‘Magick’ rock along like Billy Joel on ‘We didn’t start the fire’ Ryan punching out his words for the others to back up. ‘Let us down easy’ is traditional Cardinals meets Spiritualized gospel confession and elsewhere each song is its own composition nestling snugly alongside its album companions to make a warm affectionate record. Often compared to Bob Dylan never has such comparison actually meant so much and seeing him now on his latest tour you will probably know why, he is at the peak of his power he has in the Cardinals what Bob had in the Band and together they are making some amazing music. Now is the time to embrace the Cardinology and a time for fans to rejoice in the fact that, for now, Ryan is back on the rails and doing what he does best.

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