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Ryan Adams & The Cardinals - Cardinology

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Lost Highway

Building on last year's "Easy Tiger," Ryan Adams entered the same New York studio with the same pack of players to record a collection of consistent country-rock songs.

Having staved off a breakdown, "Cardinology" could be considered a breakthrough for Adams, who' while not laying stellar songs to tape' is coherent and seems, at least momentarily, committed to a sound.

He shares more of his ambling agony in "Fix It," a song solidly in the singer's wheel house. The brisk "Cobwebs" features a similarly familiar, arena-anthem Adams. Both "Sink Ships" and "Magick" have a cocky confidence that is immediately appealing.

The two aren't quite there yet, but the Cardinals and Adams have found a nice place to live: a comfortable country home with life-worn walls. 

Let's hope Adams can stand sitting still long enough to tell more stories and to see where this road takes his songs.

"?Joe Wertz

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