Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Rosanne Cash: Interiors [Columbia, 1990]
With husband-producer Rodney Crowell down to "guest vocal," she's on her own. Not only is this the first time she's produced herself, it's the first time she wrote all the songs--only once before has she even come close. Musically it's singer-songwriter rock, though as always Cash redeems tasteful arrangements with high-quality melodies and intense vocal focus. But lyrically this prolonged meditation on a marriage in pain is country at its best, because country is marriage music and Cash knows the territory. Anger, fear, separation, transcendence, change--this woman has thought about the tough stuff. Most of the time she has as much to say as, to choose a random example, Woody Allen girding himself up for a big statement. And even when she's corny, her seriousness is so palpable that the emotional effort carries the songs. A-