Picks and Pans Review: Interiors

updated 11/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 11/12/1990 AT 01:00 AM EST

Rosanne Cash

While it's dripping with good intentions and sobersided determination, this neo-folk album never gets very entertaining or enlightening. It sounds a bit like Mary Travers—without Peter or Paul and in a very bad mood.

Cash, as accomplished as they come at country rock, does an appealing duet with husband Rodney Crowell on "On the Surface," but even that tune (written by Cash with Jimmy Tittle) is a down-in-the-Dumpster lament: "I'm holding back the tears while you're pushing me away."

That's nothing compared with the mood of "Land of Nightmares": "We hang on a noose/ Of subtle abuse/ Like there's nothing to fear." Or "On the Inside": "We watched it unravel, we heard it unwind/ Imprisoned by anger, embittered by time." Then there's "This World," which begins: "I read about this baby/ She got beat up by her dad/ She was 9 months old and he was a full grown man/ She may have been learning how to crawl/ And he put a fist in her face."

Anyway, so much for anyone's idea that Rosanne is just a good-time girl. While she sounds strong and smooth and there is melodious acoustic guitar filling by Steuart Smith, Interiors—like the identically titled Woody Allen movie—seems to be the work of an artist restless with her image in an angst-in-the-pants kind of way. Impeccably produced and polished, it's too somber and not eloquent enough to make much of an impact. (Columbia)

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