Various Artists, Cake Or Death

Karen Schoemer

By Karen Schoemer

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A country music giant’s swan song.

In 2005 Lee Hazlewood was diagnosed with cancer, and set about making a swan song. Cake or Death is a rich culmination of his life's work, organizing his off-kilter notions and willful absurdities into one handy package. “Nothing” finds a still-libidinous older guy (“Probably me,” he admits via phone in a recent interview) hitting on an uncooperative German chick; “She's Gonna Break Some Heart Tonight” is a mariachi-flavored do-bad country song. “Baghdad Knights” and “Anthem” blast Republican politics — “There's not too many old Southern super-liberals sitting around,” he says proudly.