By Jeremy Climer
Beginning with the release of Easy Tiger, Ryan Adams seemed to have learned to control his desire to release damn near every song he writes and put out a solid, cohesive record, and Cardinology is a continuation of that maturity. Perhaps it is the consistency of playing with The Cardinals and having the expertise of musicians like Neal Casal and Brad Pemberton with him on a day-to-day basis, or perhaps getting sober set him straight. This is also a natural progression from Easy Tiger, no more genre jumping every album.
Adams also seems to be a little more happy this time around. Did you ever think you’d hear him sing, “Have confidence and keep the faith” as he does in “Born Into a Light”? The romanticism is still present, as are the Grateful Dead guitar licks, but the album manages to sound fresh and new. “Magick” is something that could have appeared on Rock N Roll, but otherwise, there are some beautiful, mid-tempo songs that any Ryan Adams fan will find comfortable and progressive at the same time; songs like “Fix It”, “Let Us Down Easy” and “Like Yesterday” show a maturing songwriter and man.