She Remembers Everything [Deluxe Edition]

by: Rosanne Cash

As Rosanne Cash released She Remembers Everything in November 2018, she was 63 years old, and while she sounds fresh and vital on every track, the music clearly speaks of experience and maturity, if not specifically age. She Remembers Everything is the work of a musician and songwriter who knows her craft inside and out, and her lyrical voice is full of compassion and lacking in fear or hesitancy. Cash is willing to share what lurks in her mind and her heart, and she has the tools to articulate her ideas with literacy and passion in equal measure. Cash's body of work has been strong since she broke out in 1981 with Seven Year Ache, but in a very real way, She Remembers Everything is an album she could not have been made in the '80s and '90s; these are songs with a lifetime behind them, and the music and the emotions behind them are rich, nuanced, and never simplistic. Cash can confront her own doubts ("My Least Favorite Life"), celebrate a longtime love ("Not Many Miles to Go"), put our violent culture under the microscope ("Gods of Harlem"), look inward at the loss of her loved ones ("Everyone But Me"), and navigate the treacherous territory between he said and she said ("The Undiscovered Country" and the title cut), and on every song, her strong voice and lyrical gifts are in clear focus and in superb form. Five of the album's ten songs (13 on the deluxe edition) were produced by Cash's husband and longtime collaborator John Leventhal, while the others were cut with Tucker Martine, and both of them have given Cash sonic backdrops that match the subtle force of her contributions. (One of the deluxe edition bonus cuts was produced by Joe Henry, whose work similarly flatters the headliner.) And few other artists could write and record a song with Kris Kristofferson and Elvis Costello and not sound overpowered, a feat Cash manages with dignified aplomb on "Gods of Harlem." She Remembers Everything is a challenging and rewarding set from an artist who is at the peak of her abilities, and if anyone needs to be reminded that Rosanne Cash is one of America's best and smartest songwriters, all they need to do is spend some time with these songs. ~ Mark Deming

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