Today's Country

The best Country music in the World!


November 13, 2001
Country, Contemporary Country, Neo-Traditionalist Country

Album Review

The issue of Rosanne Cash's first two Columbia albums in a single package is not only a listening delight, it's more importantly a historical document. In the same way archivists go back to finds the roots of certain evolutions in earlier strains of country music, these two records will be marked undoubtedly as the turning point from the countrypolitan and outlaw sounds of the late '70s to the fusion of country music with modern pop styles that could crossover and reach audiences on both sides of the country music divide. It also marked the resurgence of the female singer/songwriter that the music hadn't seen since the late '50s through the mid-'60s. Right or Wrong is Cash's first collaboration with her husband and producer, Rodney Crowell. Formerly a member of Emmylou Harris's Hot Band, he recruited Emmylou's crew for this project and picked Los Angeles as the site; Cash chose songs based on their merit as songs rather than as country-potential country records. Consequently, writers such as Keith Sykes, Karen Brookes, Gary P. Nunn, and (at least on the British version) Lennon and McCartney got shots at the mainstream country charts. In addition, Cash and Crowell both honed their songwriting skills specific to her voice and delivery style, to the point where on Seven Year Ache they scored with three number one singles and a Top Ten album. Two of those singles, the title track and "Blue Moon With Heartache," were Cash compositions. The third single, Leroy Preston's "My Baby Thinks He's a Train," was covered by virtually every major female country performer in its wake. Add covers of Tom Petty and Steve Forbert songs and the appearance of the queen herself, Emmylou Harris, and you have a dynamite recording. These sides hold up well over two decades later -- especially after what happened to country in the '90s (yeccccchhhhhh!!!!). The sound is pristine, the package has extensive liner notes, and there are bonus tracks to boot. Necessary.
Thom Jurek, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Right or Wrong
  2. Take Me, Take Me
  3. Man Smart (Woman Smarter)
  4. This Has Happened Before
  5. Baby, Better Start Turnin' 'Em Down
  6. No Memories Hangin' 'Round
  7. Couldn't Do Nothin' Right
  8. Seeing's Believing
  9. Big River
  10. Anybody's Darlin' (Anything But Mine)
  11. Not a Second Time
  12. Rainin'
  13. Seven Year Ache
  14. Blue Moon With Heartache
  15. What Kinda Girl?
  16. You Don't Have Very Far to Go
  17. My Baby Thinks He's a Train
  18. Only Human
  19. Where Will the Words Come From?
  20. Hometown Blues
  21. I Can't Resist
  22. Ballad of a Teenage Queen [*]