Recordings for Cash: The Album were completed on September 7, the mixing on September 11, 2001. The events of that day make it sound so premonitory it gets scary and profoundly disturbing. Yes, disturbing because for this project Jerry Snell focused on what he calls "the central nervous system of the world," meaning the ties between politicians, the Army, the armament industrials, and the media. In the light of George W. Bush's immediate call to arms, the way the U.S. media self-censored their content, the Army's choice to relentlessly bombard Afghanistan (a costly decision that provides generous contracts to war tycoons), Snell's reflections, questions, and call to think for oneself becomes all the more necessary, if not eerie considering the "good" timing. Cash: The Album is part of a multi-disciplinary project (begun long before the September 2001 events) that includes a dance performance, a film, and this CD, the singer's first album since Life in the Suicide Riots in 1992. Once known for his glass-shattering primal screams (which gave him the "experimental" edge necessary to record for Ambiances Magnétiques), Snell has now turned into a laid-back rocker, dripping his socially aware words in a low, detached voice reminiscent of Lou Reed or The The's Matt Johnson. His backup band includes guitarist Claude Fradette (André Duchesne, Geneviève Letarte), bassist Patrick Hamilton, and drummer Rémi Leclerc (Duchesne, Miriodor). The music is dominated by the blues guitars, a Southern blues flavor, a pessimistic atmosphere, all subdued to the words. Snell raises his voice only a couple times so this album hits you less strongly in the face. Cash: The Album won't cheer you up but it will make you think, which was the artist's intention all along.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture