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Black Cadillac Enhanced

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Audio CD, Enhanced, January 24, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The circumstances that gave rise to Black Cadillac would test the resolve and talents even of a songwriter as fearless as Cash. Within a two-year period, Cash's mother, father and step-mother all died. Her mother, Vivian Liberto, the first wife of Johnny Cash, was an intensely private person, and her relationship with Rosanne, her oldest daughter, was extremely close. The album found its genesis in its title track, which, according to Cash, "was like a beacon, leading the whole process." Written six weeks before June Carter's death, a point at which no one suspected that she was even ill, the song seemed "foreboding" to Cash. To create a sound appropriate to her powerful subject, Cash worked with two producers: her husband and longtime co-producer and co-writer, John Leventhal (Shawn Colvin, David Crosby), and Bill Bottrell, who has worked with Sheryl Crow, Shelby Lynne and Linda Perry. Capitol. 2006.

Her father called her "The Brain," and while it's always been apparent why, Rosanne Cash will likely astonish listeners with the new level of writing and depth of feeling she brings to Black Cadillac, her aural memoir of loss, ancestry, and negotiating ongoing relationships with the dead. Cash--who lost her father, Johnny; her stepmother, June Carter Cash; and her mother, Vivian Cash Distin, within a span of two years--makes it clear throughout this rootsy exploration of her past that while grief is unavoidable, faith and salvation eventually become its companion. And as the rockabilly "Radio Operator" points out ("I am calling like a friend / from my future / from your memory / and it never has to end"), the departed seldom really leave the living.

Cash's first album since 2003's Rules of Travel, Black Cadillac is darker than its predecessor, but with melodies often more complex and lyrics more stunningly poetic than anything its creator has conjured before, the album is more transforming than depressing, and exquisitely beautiful. In the achingly mournful, yet redemptive "I Was Watching You," she writes of waiting in heaven as her parents meet and wed, and of eventually joining them on earth, only to realize her parents now view life's events from her first vantage point. Other songs ("House on the Lake," "Burn Down This Town") frame more tangible real-life events, i.e., the Cash compound in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and the Man in Black's firebug tendencies. Producers John Leventhal and Bill Bottrell dot the lean, atmospheric, and genre-blending production with instrumental hallmarks that recall both the Appalachian sound of the Carter Family and the work of J.R. Cash (the horns in the title cut pay homage to those in "Ring of Fire"). But while elegiac, Black Cadillac never turns maudlin or morphs into a tribute record to a fallen icon (the lawyers get skewered in one particularly clear-eyed passage). Instead, this extraordinary, intensely moving work is made up of dreamy and deeply personal pages from a psychic scrapbook, delivered on the cashmere-and-corduroy voice of one of music's purest and most visionary artists. --Alanna Nash

Recommended Rosanne Cash

Seven Year Ache

King's Record Shop


1. Black Cadillac
2. Radio Operator
3. I Was Watching You
4. Burn Down This Town
5. God Is In The Roses
6. House On The Lake
7. The World Unseen
8. Like Fugitives
9. Dreams Are Not My Home
10. Like A Wave
11. World Without Sound
12. Good Intent
13. 0:71

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 24, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Manhattan Records
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,153 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 103 people found the following review helpful By R. Vosik on January 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Rosanne Cash has had a tough time of it lately. In the space of 24 months, her step-mother, father and mother passed away--the latter on Rosanne's 50th birthday.

This album is a meditation on loss, but it's also about how one's loved ones are always present, living or dead.

The first voice you hear on this album is that of Rosanne's father, the great Johnny Cash. Yet, the album is never mawkish or too sentimental. Instead, the music supports the powerful lyrics. "I Was Watching You" is a classic for the ages; "House on The Lake" sounds like a lament influenced by the Delta blues. The title song is truly a keeper.

At the same time, we hear an agrier Rosanne than we are used to. From "Burn Down This Town" to "Like Fugitives", Ms. Cash is angrier than we have heard her, to good effect.

The production, by Bill Botrell and John Leventhal, supports and uplifts the music. The production is unobtrusive in songs like "House on the Lake", but brings texture to songs, as in the title tune, where trumpets evoke Johnny Cash's recording of "Ring of Fire".

Rosanne is consistently able to evoke the sadness, despair and striving that we all experience. All in all, this album is one of the strongest in the Rosanne Cash canon, proving to be a dark partner to "Interiors".
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64 of 72 people found the following review helpful By A* VINE VOICE on January 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Roseanne Cash has made some effective albums but nothing has been as strong as Interiors ... until this album. Almost every song tells the tale of cope-able pain. "I was Watching You," Cash talks about the emotions she felt as her father moved on with his life and another wife. But the most effective songs are like a one two punch of honesty and raw emotions. "God Is in the Roses" and "House on the Lake" are heartfelt in their connection to Cash's past and the richness and legacy of her father and stepmother's musical legacy.

Almost every song on the album rings with glorious, true and understated vocals. This is more than a country/folk album. It delves into soulful R&B, mountain blues and blues rock without a hint of falseness. It's like reading the inner pages of someone's thoughts and mussings set to their own soundtrack.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jef Fazekas on March 27, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Loss can cripple you. Loss can empower you. Loss can inspire you.

Anger can have the same effect, all in equal doses. So can insight. Over two particularly tough years, Rosanne Cash reached deep into each of these states of mind - among others - only to emerge with the memory-laden BLACK CADILLAC, a darkly heartfelt ode to life, love and lineage that could well be her musical masterpiece. Calling upon her roots - both inherited and acquired - Cash nimbly dances between the chords of rock, country, bluegrass and rockabilly, tossing in some blues and jazz for good measure. The result? Cash's most rocking album to date, as well as her most country-flavored one in almost twenty years. The fact that the two styles meld so well together is one of the disc's main marvel's. Her voice, long one of the best in pop music history, is freer and fresher than ever, wrapping around each word with just the right emotional nuances and punch. Add to this the brilliant production jobs by Bill Bottrell and John Leventhal (You would think two producers, working on alternating tracks, would be a mess, but the disc's sequencing and flow is seamless!), and you could very well have 2006's Album of the Year. Fittingly, the disc opens with her dad's voice, urging his first-born to "Say...C'mon." From there, we segue into the darkly atmospheric title track. Anchored by an almost ominous bassline and dreamy keyboards, Cash touches upon a topic that surfaces often throughout the album, that of things coming full circle. As a child, she often had to witness her father driving away in the black cadillacs he was so fond of...
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ronnie O. on December 17, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I've never been a big fan of country music, so I'd never really heard Rosanne Cash before. I did like some of her dad's music, but I figured that she was just another second generation "star" who rode her parent's coattails into the limelight.

But when I heard about how this CD came about, and that it dealt with the loss of both parents and a stepmom in less than 2 years, I figured I'd give it a listen. I was amazed at the depth and texture of this recording!

Drom the dramatic opening strains of 'Black Cadillac' to the final notes of 'The Good Intent', this CD sucks you in and will not let go. Musically, each song sets a mood for the hearfelt lyrics it accompianies. This is especially true of the angry 'Burn down this Town' and the somber title tune.

Lyrically, the album mourns, seethes, questions, and even rejoices and comforts transparently. The songs are very well crafted, and even evoked thoughts and emotions that I experienced when my parents died years ago. This is powerful and emotional stuff!

This is one of my favorite albums of 2006, and might appeal not just to country music fans, but to anyone who has ever dealt with the pain of losing someone close.
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