Rosanne Cash Rules Of Travel (Capitol/EMI) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Five years in the making, Rules Of Travel is an intensely introspective album that spurs you to reflect on your own life. Packed with painstakingly considered ruminations on time and love and tempered with threadbare wisps of regret, Cash's own roots-twang ballads weave around material from Jakob Dylan and producer John Leventhal. Her voice is like warm, sea-worn driftwood and finds a perfect counterpoint with Steve Earle's throaty grumble on the he-said, she-said I'll Change For You. The brutal belt in the gut, though, is the gorgeous September When It Comes, a duet with her dad. It's a gently orchestrated folkie lullaby that follows the two through a heart-rending life cycle, but the implication that Roseanne is picking up the torch from the quavering-voiced Man in Black is almost too much to bear. Think I'm gonna go call my own dad and tell him how much I love him right now.