Archive for February 2010
Nearly seven years after the death of acclaimed musician Johnny Cash, the last of the vaults has been emptied with “American VI: Ain’t No Grave”
The 10 recordings are the starkest and most barren of Cash’s and producer Rick Rubin’s “American Recordings,” which were taped just months before Cash died.
Cash’s signature voice resonates against his acoustic guitar throughout the album. Unlike previous American recordings where Cash covered Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode, this collection includes covers such as Bob Nolan’s Cool Water and Sheryl Crow’s Redemption Day.
The album is thick with reflection and insights of a man clearly cognizant of his final days.
The title track is perhaps the most poignant as Cash croons “There ain’t no grave can hold my body down” against the sound of dragging chains.
On a version of Tom Paxton’s Wonder Where I’m Bound Cash muses about where he is headed. Cash sings “At last I am free I don’t hurt anymore,” on Hank Snow’s I Don’t Hurt Anymore.
One of the standout tracks is a reading of I Corinthians 15:55, which speaks for itself.
Starker, darker and an ultimately an appropriate end to the American sessions, it can still be hard to say goodbye to Cash – again.
1. Ain’t No Grave
2. Redemption Day
3. For The Good Times
4. I Corinthians 15:55
5. Can’t Help But Wonder Where I’m Bound
6. Satisfied Mind
7. I Don’t Hurt Anymore
8. Cool Water
9. Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream
10. Aloha Oe
The Smashing Pumpkins are a shell of the band that they once were.
With the departure of drummer Jimmy Chamberlain last year, the only remaining original member is guitarist and singer Billy Corgan.
Corgan is like a child that hugs a puppy to death, he couldn’t give up any aspect of the music to his cohorts and eventually even the trusty Chamberlain left.
However, Corgan has and always will be the architect and the soul of the Smashing Pumpkins. That is evident by the new singles from the Smashing Pumpkins’ new album “Teargarden By Kaleidyscope.”
The first two songs from the album, which will eventually be available for free download on the band’s website, are vintage Pumpkins.
On the first song, “Widow Wake My Mind” Corgan airy voice sings “I’m looking for a love that I can’t find” over a crunchy guitar riff that is undeniable Smashing Pumpkins. Corgan crafts in a catchy piano break at the crescendo of the song’s chorus.
As good as the first single is, “A Song For A Son” is the real gem and glimmer of light that Corgan can carry on without Chamberlain and the gang.
Built around a somber piano melody laced with an acoustic guitar, Corgan hauntingly sings “This is a song for a space invader that flew into the sun never to return.” There is an electric guitar solo that is reminiscent of early 90’s Pumpkins.
The two songs, both streaming and available for free download, are enough to pique interest about what else Corgan has up his sleeve.
Check out the new tracks here.