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CD Review: Various Artists' Johnny Cash Remixed



The Deal: Remixers and producers offer new interpretations of classic Johnny Cash songs.

The Good: "Big River" sounds pretty close to the original except for some modern touches here and there. "I Walk the Line," redone by Snoop Dogg in a similar fashion to Kanye West's "Gold Digger" – borrowing from a classic – would have been a great song. The fact it's looked at as a remixed Cash song is simply not good – it would have worked as a Snoop song, fails miserably as a Cash remix. "Doin My Time" sounds like a cover song more than a remix – most of the time, it isn't Cash singing. "Rock Island Line" sounds like it was sped up – it's not horrible and one of the more listenable tracks on the album.

The Bad: When someone remixed Elvis' "Satisfaction" it turned into a big hit. Picture that same kind of techno, pop treatment done to "Get Rhythm." Ugh. It made my ears hurt. "Country Boy" started out sounding like something from Hanson and then some R&B style vocals were thrown in. "Leave That Junk Alone" gets an urban beat thrown behind some other guy's vocals. "Port of Lonely Hearts" sounds like it's being played five miles away, hidden in the distance behind a chorus. The techno beat behind "Folsom Prison Blues" wasn't a good choice, either. "Straight A's In Love" sounds like it has an '80s video game going on behind it. They try to add the rock into "Sugartime" and that didn't work for me either. "Belshazzar" gets some added beats that become too much of a focal point on the track. "I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow" goes from a version close to the original into a spacey, technofied instrumental.

The Verdict: Cash is a legend. Why the hell would anyone want to rip up his songs like this?! It had to be for money – it sure wasn't cause they sounded better than the originals. It's just not good ... I kept thinking, "Why?!?" between fits of rage and the verge of tears. It's sad. A DVD documentary is included, but after listening to the CD, I didn't care what was on it.

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