November 10, 2008 12:00 PM

Cardinology

ALT-COUNTRY

Ryan Adams’ fourth album with the Cardinals—but only the third to officially bill the band—glides by smoothly, even if it fails to truly soar. Cardinology has a stronger first half than second, and could have used some more variation from the leisurely midtempo groove, only really shaken up by the garage rocker “Magick” and the closing ballad, “Stop.” Still, as tipped by the titles “Go Easy” and “Let Us Down Easy,” there’s a nice ease to it all that’s downright comforting.

DOWNLOAD THIS: “Fix It,” the soul-soothing first single

CRITIC’S CHOICE

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