Total Pageviews

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Johnny Cash - American Recordings LP 1994

I wasn't all that familiar with the more recent Johnny Cash output before listening to American Recordings. I grew up listening to 'Live in Folsom Prison' and in comparison this is much more acoustic and low key, but with more emphasis on the richness of lyrics and profound sentiments. Apparently, this was the first album released by Rick Rubin's American Recordings label after it's name change from Def America (was this Def Jam once?), with Rubin encouraging Cash to record in a more minimal style in his front room with just his guitar for backing.

The whole idea worked brilliantly and a Grammy was soon in the bag, but I still have some reservations about the album. It's clearly a heartfelt, quality offering from Johnny, but few of the songs make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end like some of Cash's finer moments. The vast majority of the songs are enjoyable enough, but in no way classics. Exceptions to this assessment are the two 'darker' numbers included; 'Thirteen' and 'Redemption' which are both melancholy stormers that rank up there with his best.

It's a bit of a disappointment for me, but still head and shoulders above most modern day artists and it's definitely worth buying just for the two standout tracks. But not worth a Grammy.

And do I get on the panel that decides who wins a Grammy? Maybe I should start with the Mercury Music Prize and work my way up. I doubt P J Harvey would be winning if I was a judge.

No comments:

Post a Comment