RYAN ADAMS & THE CARDINALS > Cardinology

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

No one makes banged-up garage rock and slightly-torn romanticism more appealing than Ryan Adams, the 8-ball songwriter/roots iconoclast as famous for his self-abuse as the broken-hearted melodies and images cast in minor keys. On Cardinology, with lean backing band the Cardinals, never has the punk-Americana heartwrecker’s brash/tender poles seem so resolved and aesthetics integrated.Label: LOST HIGHWAY
[Rating: 3.5 stars]

No one makes banged-up garage rock and slightly-torn romanticism more appealing than Ryan Adams, the 8-ball songwriter/roots iconoclast as famous for his self-abuse as the broken-hearted melodies and images cast in minor keys. On Cardinology, with lean backing band the Cardinals, never has the punk-Americana heartwrecker’s brash/tender poles seem so resolved and aesthetics integrated. Again adrift on the vastness of what was, sorrow is tempered with knowing, a sense of maturity – and, could it be… hope? Ryan Adams, boy trainwreck, offers a song cycle of loss, but also reckoning and recognizing the demons who’ve wrought jagged chaos. The ambling “Evergreen” offers eternity in hope and love realized rather than destroyed, while “Go Easy” and “Born Into a Life” embrace compassion in the coping. “Stop,” a few piano notes and croaked lines, captures the power of releasing the bad, embracing quiet, saving oneself in simplest terms. Here, the whisper more than screams…

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