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Rules of Travel CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, March 25, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Rosanne Cash Photos


More from Rosanne Cash

10 Song Demo

Black Cadillac

The Very Best of Rosanne Cash

It's oddly coincidental that Rosanne Cash's first No. 1 country hit was "Seven Year Ache." As it turns out, it's been seven long years since her previous album, 1996's 10 Song Demo, and though she'd written an album's worth of songs after that, her voice suddenly gave out due to a polyp on her vocal chords. Thanks to voice therapy, Cash was able to resume singing and recording, and the result is the hauntingly beautiful Rules of Travel. Tastefully produced by husband John Leventhal and featuring guest appearances by Sheryl Crow, Steve Earle, Teddy Thompson, and Johnny Cash, the album is a showcase for Cash's trenchant, soul-baring songs about love and mortality. Nearly every song is infused with a brooding melancholy, even the ones with sweet musical hooks ("Closer Than I Appear," "I'll Change For You"). When you hear the poignant "September When It Comes," a duet with her father and one of the album's highlights, you can't help but be stirred hearing them sing, "When the shadows lengthen and burn away the past/they will fly me like an angel to a place where I can rest." Rules of Travel is an impressive musical return from one of our most gifted singer-songwriters--and her voice, by the way, sounds as good as ever. --David Hill
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 25, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Manhattan Records
  • ASIN: B00008BX1F
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,580 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This long-awaited CD makes the delay almost seem worth it. Every song is a keeper, and some will break your heart.
The opening song, Beautiful Pain, written by Craig Northey, features a beautiful, upbeat tune and backup vocals by Sheryl Crow. 44 Stories evokes the wonder of getting to know someone, with deep lyrics.
I'll Change for You, with help from Steve Earle, is one of the most lyrically creative songs you'll hear all year, all about obsession.
It's on the next three tracks that this album becomes a classic. Rules of Travel, the title cut, might just be the loveliest song Rosanne has ever performed. The music builds to a tremendous hook, supporting some clever lyrics. Unique instumentation supports the catchy music. A masterpiece.
September When It Comes is the emotional center of this album. It's a tune about mortality, and when Rosanne's father, Johnny Cash, sings his verses, you will feel chills. Another classic.
Hope Against Hope, written by Jakob Dylan and Joe Henry, rocks smoothly, bolstered by layered instruments and a catchy chorus.
The next two tunes, Will You Remember Me and Three Steps Down, aim for more introspection and depth. The latter features the vocals of Teddy Thompson, son of Richard and Linda Thompson.
Closer Than I Appear would have fit very comfortably on Rosanne's Rhythm and Romance or King's Record Shop albums. It's very much a throwback to those days when she produced unique country music, and it's great to hear Rosanne in that mode again.
Speaking of throwbacks, Western Wall is almost a carbon copy of the version that appeared on Ten Song Demo. The song deserves to be heard again, and it fits well with this album.
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Format: Audio CD
I had kind of forgotten what a unique voice Rosanne Cash has been over the years until I saw her play a brief live set on our local cable channel in Philadelphia. As soon as I heard her sing the wonderful title song and the poignant "Last Stop Before Home," I knew I had to find this CD. I'm glad I've rediscovered her emotive, husky voice again, especially having heard the backstory about her near seven year fight to regain her voice after polyps were discovered on her vocal cords.

"The Rules Of Travel" is easily Rosanne's best album since the dark "Interiors," the chronicle of her breakup with then husband Rodney Crowell. Eleven ruminations on the pain of love and loss, her voice conveys the deep-hued melancholy that first struck me with its honesty back when "Blue Moon With Heartache" made me a fan. Producer and new husband John Leventhal frames each song with great care, making the guest appearances sound like more than random duets. Steve Earle adds his gritty tone to "I'll Change For You," underscoring that song's ultimate falsity. As much as the change is wished for, there's no way it's ever going to come. Teddy Thompson (son of folk legend Richard Thompson) has picked up the same kind of wanderer's eloquence his father has mastered over the years for "Three Steps Down." (Which, by the way, is one of three songs Rosanne did not have a hand in wirting, but was cowritten by Marc Cohn of "Walking in Memphis" fame. Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers and Joe Henry also contribute good work.)

But the best of the lot has to be "September When It Comes," a duet with Rosanne's father Johnny. It certainly becomes hard to remain separated from the song when the elder Cash sings "They will fly me like an angel to a place I can rest." It's an amazing moment on a great album. Maybe Rosanne won't break back into the spotlight with "The Rules Of Travel," but if you're reading this, you can certainly do your part by getting yourself a copy.
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Format: Audio CD
This is Rosanne Cash's first album since 1996's TEN SONG DEMO. She suffered fractured vocals and had to undergo surgery. Here she returns, with RULES OF TRAVEL. Cash wrote 9 of the 11 songs. There are many musical guests such as Sheryl Crow, Teddy Thompson, Johnny Cash and Steve Earle. They all work well with Cash.
The album opens with "Beautiful Pain", with Sheryl Crow. The song is short and sweet. A true standout is the duet with her father Johnny Cash on "September When It Comes". It's simply beautiful and breathtaking, and touching to hear father and daughter sing together. "Western Wall" is a nice stripped back acoustic song that was also on her TEN SONG DEMO album.
The album still features the introspection that fans and admirers have come to expect from Cash's songwriting, which is comparitively just as great as the two tracks she did not write (Beautiful Pain and Hope Against Hope, which was written by Jakob Dylan from The Wallflowers).
The title track boasts a wonderful chorus, an extremely well written song. "I'll Change For You" is another great track, a song featuring Steve Earle. Other highlights include "Hope Against Hope", "44 Stories", "Last Stop Before Home" and "Will You Remember Me".
A nice, mature album. I sure wasn't disapointed. One of the better albums to come out so far this year.
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Format: Audio CD
It's been 7 years since Rosanne's last Capitol CD "10 Song Demo"; so it has been a long journey to get to this new release. On "Rules of Travel" Rosanne comes into her own as a songwriter. The lovely tune "Western Wall" that was the title track for the Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris CD is a lovely acoustic melody. The two covers on this set are from Craig Northey of the underrated pop band Odds and Bob's son Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers. Northey's "Beautiful Pain" is an exquisite melody with Cash's restrained vocals and Sheryl Crow's harmony while Dylan's "Hope Against Hope" is a great melody with producer (and husband) John Leventhal's bass giving a great insurgent energy. My favorite track is the title tune with its distinctive melody and great lyric, "We learn the rules of travel inside each other's hearts." Teddy Thompson, who is the son of famous musicians Richard & Linda and has his own excellent CD, joins Rosanne on "Three Steps Down" penned by Leventhal and Marc Cohn, "The dead are dancing 'cross the room where candles burn & shadows loom." All of the tracks are amazingly strong such as father Johnny joining on "September When It Comes" and Steve Earle's duet on "I'll Change for You." If I had any constructive criticism, it'd be that on tracks like "Closer Than I Appear" I would have preferred to hear Shawn Pelton's drums mixed more prominently to really propel the beat and make an excellent track truly a blockbuster classic recording. This is a breathtaking return for Rosanne. Bravo!
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