We gave it a B-
In interviews and in the lyrics to many of her songs, country singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash has invited autobiographical speculation about her life with her husband, musician Rodney Crowell. Interiors, therefore, suggests that things are not happy in the Cash and Crowell household.
What Cash wants on the album’s pretty, glum first single, ”What We Really Want,” is love. In most of the songs on Interiors, she fails to find it. ”Land of Nightmares” offers the blunt couplet, ”We hang on a noose/Of subtle abuse”; elsewhere she compares love to drug addiction and says, ”I Want a Cure.” Her most elegantly written song here is ”Paralyzed,” which in a few quick, vivid lines tells the story of a woman who discovers her husband’s affair by accidentally picking up the phone and overhearing him on another line, whispering sweet nothings.
Most of Interiors has been produced by Cash, and it’s daringly crafted. The songs are arranged like folk music, frequently with acoustic instruments framing Cash’s dry, urgent voice. Like the Woody Allen movie that shares its title, ”Interiors” is artful, humorless, and earnest. There are no spirited pop-country hit-single candidates here, no ”Seven Year Ache” or ”The Way We Make a Broken Heart.” Interiors is brave, admirable, and often lovely. It’s also a real bummer. B-