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.