November 13, 2008

Recently Spun: Johnny Cash Remixed

Although I'm no country music fan by any stretch of the imagination- I love me some old Johnny Cash. Soon as I heard of it, I looked forward to a new updated sound on a few of these old songs.

Some have a fresh spin and work well: Big River & Get Rhythm are first rate mixes, Doin' My Time sounds like a cool remix done in the late '50s. The disco-fied rockabilly Folsom Prison Blues is excellent but over too soon. Rock Island Line works well, Belshazzar rides mainly on just a bass kick, handclaps and an unfortunate fuzzy keyboard bassline, but nicely done. Hey Porter is a standout with just enough effect, Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow is ok if slightly overblown. Wide Open Road is simple with the beats replaced, and horns ramp up Trail To Mexico.

As you'd expect it has its clunkers: Port of Lonely Hearts is like Cash meets Enya or Moodswings. The big riff pop mixed Sugartime turned duet doesn't work, and Leave That Junk Alone is only slightly less annoying than Katy Too. Straight A's In Love sounds like a Justice mishap with the bleeps and dead stops of Madonna's Music. I couldn't finish the K.D.Lang bigness of the closing track My Treasure with Johnny's vocals stretched to a cringe. If not for I Walk the Line, the extremely disappointing opening track rapped over by Snoop, My Treasure would be the worst of the bunch. Instead, it's a tie.

Packaging is a nice gatefold with large early portraits of Cash on each inside panel (plain white paper sleeve innards). The records are flat & sturdy, but now I know the difference between a quiet record and a noisy one. I never noticed surface noise like this before- between tracks I wondered what was wrong with my 'table! Even so, very happy I got this.

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