June 17, 1985 12:00 PM

Rosanne Cash

It’s unfair in some ways to call this album a disappointment, since it has some terrific moments and some touching ones too. The problem is that Cash set such high standards for herself in her previous outings—Seven Year Ache and Somewhere in the Stars—and it has been such a long time since Somewhere (going on three years) that she’s allowed time for anticipation to really build. While this album is enjoyable, it’s not the triumph that we hoped for. Cash wrote or co-wrote eight of the LP’s 10 tunes. In the case of My Old Man, that makes for a poignant set of lyrics—”Ask him how he remembers me/’cause I want to know where I stand”—especially since Cash’s old man is Johnny. (Another line goes, “Let him see who he wants to see/’cause he never had too many friends.”) Several of the other tunes have a routine pace and tone. I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me, which Rosanne wrote with husband Rodney Crowell, one of the masters of modern country composing, is an exception. To her credit Cash always seems to be experimenting and pushing herself, as she does on this album with Tom Petty’s and Benmont Tench’s Never Be You. What Cash needs now is to recapture a bit of the coltish charm that helped establish her career. (Columbia)

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