when i was an anklebiter, i thought johnny cash was bad. i wanted to be cash. either that or gene simmons from kiss, but that’s another story entirely. anyway, it’s strange that i’ll be forking over cake for his new album 23 years after i first started mimicking his style:

“But American III’s high point is its two-song centerpiece. The first is
Will Oldham’s, “I See a Darkness,” on which it becomes clear that,
perhaps because of his neurological disorder, Cash’s voice isn’t as sure
and strong as it once was. When he quavers, with Oldham singing
backup, “Is there hope that somehow you can save me from this
darkness?” the effect is absolutely devastating. You won’t listen to the
song the same after this. The shivers will eventually leave your spine,
but the residue remains.

That song’s transcendent power also stems from its production, which,
although still sparse, is relatively lush. The organ and piano that rise to
match the guitar remain in use for Nick Cave’s “The Mercy Seat.”
Chronicling the first-person thoughts of a man being executed, this
song, more than any other on the album, was written for Cash. Building
to a rumbling crescendo, he belts out, “And the mercy seat is smokin’/
And I think my head is meltin’.” This would’ve brought even Gary
Gilmore to tears.”

i don’t even like country.

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