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music: album of the week.

Byline: by Anuji Varma, Paul Cole & Jack Daniels

RYAN ADAMS & THE CARDINALS Cardinology (Lost Highway) THE album title may suggest a compilation but this is no cobbled together greatest hits collection.

songwriter Ryan Adams contin-Prolifi ues the rousing return to form that began with Easy Tiger, building accessible pop and rock from roots, and serving up some of his best songs yet.

And while he may occasionally do a Bono - both Go Easy and Cobwebs stray into U2 territory - this is a superb set which ticks all the influence boxes.

Let Us Down Easy is Band-styled country, Magick is Raconteurs rock and roll, and Evergreen has hints of Paul Simon.

But it's when he strips songs bare that spines tingle.

Sink Ships, quietly ushered in by acoustic guitar and pedal steel, is a sublime song.

UK bonus track Memory Lane could rub shoulders with anything from Adams' early Heartbreaker days, and the sparse Crossed Out Name could be a Gold out-take.

Listen, too, for Like Yesterday - premiered as a Youtube demo - and fiveminute finale Stop, which closes the album with an upper register vocal so fragile it sounds as if it might shatter. Ryan Adams remains one of popular music's greatest talents, and this is a cardinal success. PC
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Article Type:Sound recording review
Date:Oct 26, 2008
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