She Remembers Everything
Rosanne Cash had a terrific 1980s – wonderful albums, bursting out of the gates, there was country legacy in her sound (she had the name of course but straight away proved she had plenty more besides). But she added aspects of the time, the rockabilly revival and shades of the new wave – just a total class act.
A great storyteller too, which transferred over to her published prose – and then the last few albums have seen her growing old with grace, with style, and also addressing the weight of the legacy of the old man; all the while she continues to put her voice in the world – it’s her sound, her feel; her dignity.
And so She Remembers Everything is a return to some of her earlier flavours, in a way. Well, as close as we might get to some of the magic from Seven Year Ache; certainly in the snake-winding guitar that opens the new record we have found some of that sound. The Only Thing Worth Fighting For is a terrific opener, and the special guests on this album are all well chosen too – Colin Meloy has his first outing on this great starter, he’s back for Rabbit Hole too, and Elvis Costello and Kris Kristofferson make their mark on 8 Gods of Harlem, which kicks off a little like late-80s Stones.
And sure there are other name-players here, including Sam Phillips, co-smouldering on the title track late the record, but there’s never any doubt that this is Cash’s show.
It’s the loping country storytelling (The Undiscovered Country) that hooks you in – again and again. Cash’s voice caressing you through the tune, Crossing To Jerusalem is reminiscent of when Emmylou Harris and Linda Rondstadt paired for a spectacular album of mostly covers, Not Many Miles To Go feels like Drive-By Truckers’ trademark mix of grit and gumption.
John Leventhal (Cash’s husband) and Tucker Martine handle the production duties; two safe, safe sets of hands.
It’s the kind of class-act set that has been Rosanne Cash’s staple – but we’re still lucky each time when an album this good arrives.
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