I have been decidedly useless in my reviewing over the past week. Upon landing in the US, I have been much more focused on drinking exotic microbrews and sightseeing, plus one gig thus far (Ben Kweller in San Fran). I did visit Alcatraz prison, which I feel may have brought me closer to Johnny Cash’s life experiences (as might my many encounters with the chemically dependent on SF streets).
At various periods in our travels I did manage to crank up this album on the iPod, and each time it delighted. It is truly guilt-free easy listening. It’s like having a super-groovy, intimidating grand-dad whose found your CD collection and decided to learn various standout tunes.
So here he goes, nailing Nick Cave’s best ever tune (Mercy Seat) and showing Will Oldham how to sing in tune (I See a Darkness). He even ropes Will to sing backup.
This album is more consistent and captivating than Unchained and sees Cash sneaking in a few more traditional tunes and one of his old gems (Country Trash). The title track is pure gold, pushing Neil Diamond’s lyrics to a whole new level of cool.
File under: A Man of Might