Release Date: Oct 28, 2008
Record label: Lost Highway
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative, Country, Singer-Songwriter
Sobriety agrees with Ryan Adams, giving him the one thing he's always lacked: focus. Easy Tiger suggested as much, with its tight, clean lines supported by its rehab-celebrating publicity, but its 2008 sequel, Cardinology, reveals that this straight and narrow path was no new detour for Adams, but rather the main road. It's the first time in his solo career that Adams has tread the same trail for two albums in a row, which only confirms the suspicion that now that Adams is sober, he's getting down to the business of being the troubadour he's always aspired to be, assisted by a band so sympathetic to his style that he's named his album after them.
Review by Travis Woods.
Uneven self-help record leaves listeners undernourishedI’ve never understood the fuss over Ryan Adams’ prolificacy. Each of his nine previous albums has its own distinct identity, from his 2000 solo debut Heartbreaker to last year’s Easy Tiger, and music fans are far richer having had the opportunity to see so many sides of Adams; to be able to sample so many varied sounds to love or hate. But Cardinology is such an unremarkable album that it’s hard to fall passionately on either side, which is strange considering how Adams’ work has always inspired such fiery responses.
Set in a dilapidated Veterans Administration hospital, Article 99 may be the first medical melodrama that isn’t about dedicated physicians performing life-saving acts of valor. It’s about dedicated physicians not performing life- saving acts of valor: Their hands are tied by the crisis in veterans’ health care — the calamitous lack of funding, the red tape, the increasingly prevalent policy of refusing to cover conditions (such as heart problems) that aren’t directly related to military service. To function as doctors, the movie’s heroes have to become outlaws in their own hospital.