Pin It
Favorite

CD Review 

by Ted S. McGregor, Jr.


Rosanne Cash's 10 Song Demo was one of the surprise classics of the '90s. When Johnny's daughter sent Capitol Records a batch of raw songs for her next CD, the suits loved them so much they all just decided to release them as is. It's a great collection, straight from the heart, and it made me wonder what she could do if her producer actually booked her some studio time. How could she get any better? That was in 1996, and since then Cash has taken a break -- she had a baby and lost her voice for more than two years. After a miraculous recovery (hastened by singing Italian arias), Cash is back with Rules of Travel, her first studio record in a decade, since 1993's The Wheel.


This is a strong collection, too, but it's no 10 Song Demo -- these songs sound great, but something's been lost under all the spit and polish. Still, Cash's knack for sophisticated lyrics and somber sounds is on display, nicely produced by hubby John Leventhal, who also co-wrote many of the songs. The title song has got to be one of her best ever, and her recording of Craig Northey's "Beautiful Pain," with Sheryl Crow on harmony vocals, is another one that'll keep you humming all week long. Other guests are well chosen, too, including Steve Earle on "I'll Change for You" and Johnny Cash on "September When it Comes." Her dad has been sick, and hearing him on a song about human frailty is a bit haunting; his voice is so distinctive and strong, making this a kind of musical tearjerker.


In case you haven't noticed, I can't help but compare this to 10 Song Demo (which actually contains 11 tracks -- go figure). Rules of Travel is so different, down to the packaging, with an Annie Leibovitz photo on the cover and an elegant booklet. Maybe it's just the two sides of Rosanne Cash; I guess I like the I-just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-picked-up-my-guitar side better.


But Rules of Travel is well worth the long wait -- there's just not that much of it. Clocking in at 39 minutes, you can't help but feel shortchanged in this 80-minutes-per-CD era. And one song, "Western Wall," also appeared on 10 Song Demo. Hmmm... seems like Cash wanted to do something different here but couldn't quite break from the past.





Publication date: 05/08/03
  • Pin It

Latest in Comment

  • The Landed and the White
  • The Landed and the White

    How Americans followed tradition when they voted for Trump
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • Do Something!
  • Do Something!

    Writers Resist, MLK Day activities and more ways to engage with your community
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • On the Street
  • On the Street

    Will you tip differently because of the minimum wage increase?
    • Jan 12, 2017
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Rally & Unity March

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Rally & Unity March @ Spokane Convention Center

Mon., Jan. 16, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

  • Fake-News Nightmare
  • Fake-News Nightmare

    The social media dream of the 2000s is fading, but we can reset the system by sticking up for the truth
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • BOOKS
  • BOOKS

    From Twin Peaks to the darkest reaches of our galaxy, there's a new book for everyone on your list
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Trump wins: America's great state of disconnect
  • Trump wins: America's great state of disconnect

    • Nov 9, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Thanks, Obama

    The legacy of the 44th President goes far beyond the election of the 45th
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • One Free Shave

    Donald Trump might have merited a honeymoon with voters had he managed his transition better
    • Dec 29, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

scandal


scandals


Comment


Briefs


green zone


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • A Persistent Life
  • A Persistent Life

    Scott Reed won more cases than he lost in life, and the beauty of the Coeur d'Alene area has been the beneficiary
    • May 27, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation