Rosanne Cash's "She Remembers Everything" kicks off with "The Only Thing Worth Fighting For," which features the opening line, "Waking up is harder than it seems." This admission foreshadows a mostly joyless collection of songs. (If) she remembers everything, well, here's to forgetting.
Another entry, "8 Gods of Harlem," comes along two songs later and features Kris Kristofferson and Elvis Costello helping Cash sing about a boy killed by gun violence. It doesn't get much brighter after that. "She Remembers Everything," while accurately reflecting our troubled times, doesn't also offer a whole lot of hope.
"We owe everything to this rainbow of suffering," Cash reminds us with "Particle and Wave." as if we didn't already know this by now. It's a song title inspired by the scientific theory of light. However, describing human pain in scientific terms just doesn't make these truths any easier to swallow. "The Undiscovered Country" is one of the more country sounding songs. It's a mostly acoustic track, which also has a bluegrass vibe running through it. "Crossing To Jerusalem" is also acoustic, but leans heavily toward folk.
"Not Many Miles To Go" infuses a welcome dose of electric guitar jangle. It also includes one of the few lyrical glimmers of hope when Cash sings, "Now look how we shine, my dear/Like diamonds in the sun." Both musically and lyrically, it's a little like a nightlight in a large, darkened room.
Cash is a strong singer and songwriter. This time out, though, she fills her album with a lot of memories we'd much rather forget.