Friday, November 03, 2006

Rosanne Cash - Black Cadillac


Rosanne Cash – Black Cadillac

I was recently watching a Trick My Truck marathon on CMT (What? At least it wasn’t the OC!) after which aired a rebroadcast of a live show they had taped. It featured Steve Earl playing with Rosanne Cash. I watched, somewhat out of character, and was thoroughly impressed, especially by Cash. I was never a fan of either her or her father in the past, having been into Country at seemingly the wrong times, but the name Cash, especially in recent years, has always been popular and respected. Regardless, I found myself drawn to the songs Rosanne Cash sang that day and decided to look for the album.

Having been out for most of 2006, Black Cadillac may not technically be a new album in the strictest sense of the term, but it is one that’s worth listening to. This is a very intimate, emotional and emotionally dark album that revolves around the death of a little girl’s father and her broken heart.

Rosanne Cash worked with producers Bill Bottrell (Sheryl Crow, Shelby Lynne, and Kim Richie) and John Leventhal (Shawn Colvin, Rodney Crowell and Cash’s own husband) on Black Cadillac to deliver an album with production that is transparent, leaving it with a clean and timeless sound. Both Bottrell and Leventhal were multi-instrumentalists on the album in addition to their production duties.

Musically, Black Cadillac works to support the sentiment of the lyrics flawlessly by both complementing and working as counterpoint. The arrangements are mostly sparse and breathy, leaving lots of room for Cash’s vocals and lyrics to float around in and gain even more gravity.

Rosanne Cash made the decision to include short clips of her father speaking to her when she was a child at the beginning of Black Cadillac’s opening and closing tracks. Johnny Cash opens the album saying “Come On” and closes it with “Bye, Bye, Bye.” The two phrases bracketing the life of his daughter, Rosanne, contained within. It’s a haunting reminder of the feelings that inspired this album; which is, in many ways, a fitting tribute to a life lost and a life that carries on.

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