Alanna Nash
November 08, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

Unchained

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Johnny Cash
genre
Country

We gave it a B+

Unchained, a collection of originals, worn country standards, gospel pleas, and covers of rock songs (Beck’s ”Rowboat,” Soundgarden’s ”Rusty Cage”), seems like an uneasy mix until you realize it’s really a travelogue of Johnny Cash’s sticky psyche — the repentant sinner wrestling with dark desires. Backed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Cash still sounds like the Voice of the Ages, with his bass baritone wobbling on pitch as it hasn’t in years. B+

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