It’s difficult to look past the truly crappy pun in the title of Ryan Adams’ latest, and even more difficult to look past the douchier aspects of Adams’ public persona, but let’s try, at least for a moment. Cardinology is, unfortunately, more fuel for haters. The hints of New Age-y spirituality in “Born Into a Light” are redeemed by the secular gospel-tinged rock, and the lackluster instrumentation on “Go Easy” is tolerable mostly because of Adams’ good intentions, but many of the other tracks are AM-ready lite-rock let-downs that make Wilco’s last album look heavy. “Let Us Down Easy” seems to be aiming for R&B but winds up sounding like the Indigo Girls, and the lyrics about “raining mushroom clouds” and “zombies running all around” coupled with Adam’s diet-Bono delivery make for what sounds like a deep-album Jason Mraz cut in “Magick.” But, if history is any guide, the bastard will come back with a great album three months from now and win me over again.
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