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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Album Review: Johnny Cash - The Mystery of Life (1991)

Johnny Cash was a legend, no matter which particular era you subscribe to.  Younger people will likely be more familiar with the Rick Rubin-era recordings, thanks to his epic cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt."  But I've always maintained that in order to understand, and indeed appreciate Johnny Cash, you must have heard him at each chronological point in his career.  The Mystery Of Life is one of his more unappreciated and underrated albums, at least in my opinion anyway - Cash always had a way at adapting to new styles and new times, even during his American Recordings tenure, when it was clear that his voice wasn't what it used to be.  His covers and re-recordings were almost always spot on too - as exemplified here by the favorite "Hey Porter" and the Dylan-penned "Wanted Man."  The best versions too, in my opinion.  "Beans For Breakfast" "The Hobo Song" "The Greatest Cowboy of Them All" are awesome as well, as is the title track "The Mystery of Life."  I'm so glad this album is on Spotify.  Check it out, I say.  A-