“...this album is truly spectacular..."

Review: John Carter Cash- The Family Secret

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am Sheets on September 15, 2010 at 12:00pm

I think I misjudged John Carter Cash just a little. Last month, he, his wife, and his cousin released an album as The Carter Family III and in my review I had this to say: "This album is a great traditional country album, although I wish they had recorded a few more originals. It's not groundbreaking by any means and, of course, other family members have done far better in the past. That's not the point. If you want groundbreaking, genre-bending music, check out the new Shooter Jennings album."

I stand by my statement for that particular record, but Mr. Cash, I apologize for selling you far too short. On his upcoming solo album Th
e Family Secret, which comes out the 21st of this month, Cash mixes dark lyrics, elements of traditional country, folk, piano rock, and old-school metal to create a totally unique sound. You hear that last phrase far too often for it to resonate, so allow me to repeat it: this sounds like nothing else out there.

From the beautiful opening cover of Loudon Wainwright's "Swimming Song," which sounds like Lindsey Buckingham and Cat Stevens meet Bruce Hornsby with Pete Seeger on banjo, through to the stripped-down hidden track where Cash covers the Blue Oyster Cult's "Godzilla," to all of the (mostly) original tunes in between, this album is truly spectacular.

But it's the first original that gets to me the most. The melancholy piano-heavy rock of "Cab Casket" oozes with true power and obliquely spiritual Chris Cornell-esque lyrics that speak to the darkness within. On the other hand, I could not concentrate on the lyrics to "Shadows Cross the Seine," because it was so musically overpowering. Think Iron Maiden covering "Aqualung" with Joe Satriani (here played by Kenny Vaughan) shredding on guitar.

Read the full review by Adam Sheets at nodepression.com