Rosanne Cash: She Remembers Everything
Rosanne Cash’s first album since 2014’s threetime Grammy-winner The River & the Thread is most assuredly informed by public events of late, but it’s also one of the singer-songwriter’s most personal statements to date. “I could not have written them 10 years ago,” she has said of the tracks, and that becomes obvious quickly—there is, by necessity, a darkness to many of these songs, and Cash owns it proudly. “Who knows who she used to be before it all went dark/ Was she like a streak of fire, a painted glass, a beating heart?” she sings at the start of the title track, an ominous tone embedded in her voice. The chorus—“I don’t know her now, my bitter pill, my broken vow/ This girl, this bird who sings, she remembers everything”—co-sung by Sam Phillips, doesn’t provide any relief or release. It’s a different world now. Produced by Tucker Martine and Cash’s husband, John Leventhal, She Remembers Everything doesn’t feel gloomy though; there’s a hopefulness and sense of power built into these 10 tracks, each written or co-written by Cash. In the tender, stark piano-based ballad “Everyone But Me,” Cash nods to her late parents, Johnny Cash and his first wife Vivian Liberto: “Mother and Father, now that you’re gone/ It’s not nearly long enough, still it seems too long,” she sings in the chorus, but it’s the “remembered hearts,” “crackpot dreams” and “strange and beautiful lives” of the verses that sting most sharply. Guests like Elvis Costello and Kris Kristofferson dot the credits, but it’s Cash’s raw emotionalism and unadorned realism that raise all the goosebumps.