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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Album Review For American III:Solitary Man

Artist:Johnny Cash

Songwriters and composers:Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Neil Diamond, Beasley Smith, Haven Gillespie, David Evans, Paul Hewson, Lawrence Mullen, Adam Clayton, Bert Williams, Alex Rogers, Will Oldham, Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, David Allan Coe, Jack W. Routh, John R. Cash, Dennis Turner, Adam Clayton, David Evans, Paul Hewson, Lawrence Mullen

Genres:Country, folk

Notes:Album art taken from Wikipedia.

General thoughts:I don't know about you, but I prefer my country music old-fashioned.

A large number of songs here are covers. But Johnny Cash proved throughout his career that he was good at making a song his even if it was written for a different artist. And noticeably, many of his later songs and albums had a melancholy sound and message. They also felt more reflective.

Overall, despite some mediocre songs, it's a worthwhile listen for fans of Cash.

Track Listing

1. I Won't Back Down originally by Tom Petty
Thoughts:This one's about staying strong no matter what. Worth a listen.
2. Solitary Man originally by Neil Diamond
Thoughts:Ever had a string of bad relationships and just needed some time alone? Decent song.
3. That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day) originally by Frankie Laine
Thoughts:Work, work, work. Not a great song.
4. One originally by U2
Thoughts:Here, a couple tries to figure out how to love each other and stop treating each other like crap. Worthwhile.
5. Nobody originally by Egbert Williams
Thoughts:No friends, no invites, why, you could blow yourself up and nobody would care. It's funny, but also sad.
6. I See A Darkness originally by Will Oldham
Thoughts:Something bad is on the way, dear friend. Rather somber, and fairly good.
7. The Mercy Seat originally by Nick Cave
Thoughts:This is about a death row inmate being executed (all the while claiming he's innocent, but at the same time feeling glad that all this twisting of the truth is done). Interesting.
8. Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone) originally by Tanya Tucker
Thoughts:This wonders if a lover is loyal to the end. Decent.
9. Field Of Diamonds
Thoughts:This talks about the stars going past the world and wonders about your place. Not a fan of it.
10. Before My Time
Thoughts:This ponders the past that was going on prior to the speaker's birth. Decent, not great.
11. Country Trash
Thoughts:This is about a stereotypical country man. It's okay.
12. Mary Of The Wild Moor
Thoughts:This is about a woman who tried to save her baby, only for her to die. It's neither great nor terrible.
13. I'm Leaving Now
Thoughts:This is about leaving someone who's bad for you. It's okay.
14. Wayfaring Stranger
Thoughts:This is a melancholy track about death, life, and seeing family again. Good ending.

Content warnings:Violence, infidelity, promiscuity, and drinking are referenced. "The Mercy Seat" has a somewhat graphic description of an execution.

So what was your opinion?

© 2015 by M.R.R.

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