If there’s such a thing as “Grammy bait,” Rosanne Cash’s new album The List would qualify. Cash calls on such famous friends as Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Tweedy, Rufus Wainwright, and Elvis Costello to help her perform covers drawn from a list of classic American songs, given to Cash by her famous father Johnny over 30 years ago. The List embraces tradition while sounding fresh and clean—not unlike Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’ recent awards-garnering juggernaut Raising Sand. Cash surely didn’t have visions of statuettes dancing in her head when she recorded The List, but that doesn’t make the album any less rounded-off or tame. On the other hand, being tame doesn’t make The List bad, either. While songs like “Miss The Mississippi And You” and Hank Snow’s “I’m Movin’ On” could stand to be a little scruffier than they are in Cash’s soft, almost cabaret-like renditions, at least she remains consistent, giving the entire set a pillowy feel. She’s in fine voice on The List too, crooning the classics as though they were lullabies—as if she were drawing on memories of her father singing softly in the dark of night, trying not to disturb the ghosts that haunt these songs.
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