Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Those songs ['Magick,' 'Sink Ships,' and 'Natural Ghost'] are out and out missteps, ones that keep Cardinology from being a great record, despite some very strong moments.
  2. 60
    Ultimately, Cardinology serves as another minor indictment of Adams’ famously lackadaisical internal editor. Neveretheless, it is still, almost infuriatingly, a stretch better than most people at their best.
  3. Q Magazine
    Much in between sounds like Adams on autopilot. Godd, but never great. [Dec 2008, p.122]
  4. He has found ways to marry sentiment with strut before, and when it happens here, as it does in the steady march that propels 'Born Into a Light' and the guitar solo bridge on 'Like Yesterday,' the album has a powerful presence. These moments are rare, however, and too often Cardinology seems content to float along on an oily sea of good feelings and bad attitude.
  5. The first half of the album as a whole is easy to forget....Cardinology takes a turn for the best around the midway point.
  6. Under The Radar
    So if you’ve always wanted to hear U2’s frontman lead a hook-filled classic country/rock band, Cardinology is for you. If, however, you’re waiting for Adams to deliver the classic album his prodigious talents seem capable of, you’re stuck waiting until his multiple personality disorder wears off and he remembers who he is. [Year End 2008]
  7. Following those pleasantly modest, Paste-worthy beginnings, however, Adams draws the blinds entirely and Cardinology starts sliding into self-indulgent banality of a sort so pinched and uninviting it makes Conor Oberst seem like Will Rogers.

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