Cardinology is the tenth studio album by Ryan Adams, and fourth album with his backing band The Cardinals, released on October 28, 2008. The album completed Adams' contract with Lost Highway Records, and marks his final recording session with The Cardinals. Following the album's release and subsequent tour, Adams disbanded the band and entered a self-imposed hiatus until the release of Ashes & Fire, in 2011.
According to Adams, the album "[is] about the moment when you recognise the difference betweenego and pride and your sense of service to your friends, family or yourself. Once you've had that epiphany, you can't really turn around and pretend that you haven't. It's about accountability."
The album was placed at #14 on Rolling Stone's 50 Best Albums of 2008 list. The magazine also placed "Magick" at #13 on the 100 Best Singles of 2008 list. The album has sold over 250,000 copies worldwide. In April 2011, Adams released an EP, Class Mythology, featuring four unreleased tracks recorded for Cardinology.
Cardinology was written and recorded in the aftermath of Adams' break-up with girlfriend Jessica Joffe, with Adams stating, "There's a lot of disappointment on this record. There's the pain of lost love and the brutality of unrequited love. It was a dark place to go, but this time I managed to go there with a bit of balance. I tried to make sure there were at least one or two lines in every song that, should someone be listening who is having a bad time, there's something there telling them to keep the faith. I wanted to find that hope. I didn't fully find it, but I was trying."
A vinyl version included a bonus 7", a comic book, and a digital download code. The album's first single, "Fix It", was released on vinyl and online on September 23, 2008.
In 2014, Adams reflected upon the album, and the final line-up of The Cardinals, stating: "That wasn’t the creative band. The proof of that is, listen to Cardinology, then go listen to Cold Roses. You fucking tell me where the power is. It ain’t in the end. There was nothing there."
|1||Born Into A Light (written by Ryan Adams)||2:16|
|2||Go Easy (written by Ryan Adams)||2:56|
|3||Fix It (written by Ryan Adams)||3:00|
|4||Magick (written by Ryan Adams)||2:17|
|5||Cobwebs (written by Ryan Adams)||3:57|
|6||Let Us Down Easy (written by Ryan Adams)||4:21|
|7||Crossed Out Name (written by Ryan Adams)||2:44|
|8||Natural Ghost (written by Ryan Adams)||3:39|
|9||Sink Ships (written by Ryan Adams)||3:38|
|10||Evergreen (written by Ryan Adams)||3:36|
|11||Like Yesterday (written by Ryan Adams)||2:32|
|12||Stop (written by Ryan Adams)||5:34|
|13||The Color of Pain (written by Ryan Adams)||iTunes Bonus Track||3:05|
|14||Memory Lane (written by Ryan Adams)||UK Bonus Track||3:02|
|15||Heavy Orange (written by Ryan Adams)||Vinyl version bonus 7"||2:42|
|16||Asteroid (written by Ryan Adams)||Vinyl version bonus 7"||3:18|
|Title||Times played||Debut||Last played|
|Born Into A Light||39||2008-10-07||2009-03-19|
|Let Us Down Easy||2||2008-10-28||2009-01-29|
|Crossed Out Name||76||2008-09-01||2023-04-19|
|The Color of Pain (bonus track)||1||2008-09-07||2008-09-07|
|Memory Lane (bonus track)||Never played live|
|Heavy Orange (bonus track)||Never played live|
|Asteroid (bonus track)||Never played live|