New Reviews: Johnny Cash, Butch Walker, Free Energy and More

February 23rd, 2010 by Rolling Stone Leave a reply »

This week brings what could be the last posthumous release of new music from Johnny Cash, American VI: Ain’t No Grave, which features tracks from the Man in Black’s last recording sessions with producer Rick Rubin. “Seven years after Cash’s death, those sessions are still producing great albums,” Jody Rosen writes in his three-and-a-half star review of the album. “You can hear that Cash is closing in on the end on Ain’t No Grave; his basso profundo thins out in spots to a ragged wheeze. And yet he is unmistakably sprightly and alive, delivering each song with a master-vocal stylist’s gift for phrasing, and turning the Hawaiian standard “Aloha Oe” into a sly, sexy come-on. As for death, he sounds ready, not haunted.” Other highlights include the title track and “I Corinthians 15:55,” one of the last songs Cash ever wrote.

Butch Walker has been everywhere lately, from performing with Taylor Swift on the Grammys to producing and writing songs for Katy Perry, Pete Yorn and Weezer. This week, his own LP with the Black Widows, I Liked It Better When You Had No Heart, arrives. The collection of power pop and grand ballads earned a three-and-a-half star review from Rolling Stone, and Jody Rosen wrote, “If you called him a hack, you wouldn’t be wrong. He’s also one of America’s best singer-songwriters.”

Free Energy’s Stuck on Nothing, is also out this week. The Philadelphia quintet recruited LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy to produce their new album, which got a three-and-a-half star rating from RS. “Singer Paul Sprangers and guitarist Scott Wells used to be in Pavement-fan band Hockey Night, and they haven’t ditched indie rock’s deadpan tone or slanted structures in embracing Tom Petty and Thin Lizzy,” Jon Dolan writes in his re...

Article Source: Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily


Leave a Reply