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The concept here is simply Cash paying tribute to other singers and their songs. For this, he's joined by a proper Country band - fiddle and pedal steel are prominent throughout the album. This fleshing-out of the bare-bones of the usual Cash sound provides for a pleasing and listenable LP, though it's less distinctive than other Cash albums.

"Seasons Of My Heart" which opens this collection is arguably the best performance here. A carefully put-together backing track with bass, fiddle, and pedal steel along with real country-barroom piano. I'm always going to like a song called "My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You", a real strong Country tune, though Cash performs it straight which is why I'm not so keen on this LP - he performs everything straight, dutifully performing these Country songs with reverence, and losing much of his own character and humour in the process.

"I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" is a tear-jerking performance, one of the better ones on the LP. Likewise the upbeat "Honky-Tonk Girl" - the album could've done with more uptempo tunes like this, too much here strays into ballad territory.

So whilst Cash can play with a real Country band and perform 'real' Country songs, what's the point in that? His voice is a lot more distinctive when he's singing his own material, at least at this stage in his career. Peppering an album with the odd cover version is fine of course, he would make something of a point of doing so on the 'American' series of albums. Here though, it's all played far too straight vocally and musically, such that whilst the music is nice it's not quite enough to make the LP essential.

Rated:
by Reviewer: Adrian Denning

Posted: Monday 1st Sep 2014 3:47 PM

review
Desmond Child is better-known as a songwriter and producer than as a performer, something reflected in the total absence of concert posters for him on the Internet. Discipline is his only solo album release.

Along with frequent collaborator Diane Warren, Child is a sort of latterday '1980's Commercial Rock' equivalent to the 1950's 'Tin Pan Alley' / Brill Building school of music production. In other words, he's a one-man music factory - a kind of gun-for-hire - churning out formulaic metallish Arena Rock anthems for anyone who'll pay.

A glance through his list of clients should be sufficient to provide an idea of what sort of material Child writes and produces: Kiss / Bonnie Tyler / Bon Jovi / Cher / Aerosmith / Jimmy Barnes / Meat Loaf. And so it goes on. And on.

Discipline is true-to-form, being an album made up of tuneless Arena Rock anthems and generic power-ballads. And as I've already wasted an hour I can never get back listening to this mass-produced McDonald's music, I don't intend to waste any more time writing about it - my reviews of Meat Loaf's albums pretty much applies to this stuff as well.

As far as I'm concerned generic music only warrants equally generic reviews.

Rated:
by Reviewer: bluemoon

Posted: Monday 1st Sep 2014 5:56 PM

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