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American IV: The Man Comes Around Extra tracks

620 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, November 5, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

On first thought, the idea of the Man in Black recording such covers as "Bridge over Troubled Water," "Danny Boy," and "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" might seem odd, even for an artist who's been able to put his personal stamp on just about everything. But American IV: The Man Comes Around, which also draws on Cash's original songs as well as those by Nine Inch Nails ("Hurt"), Sting ("I Hung My Head"), and Depeche Mode ("Personal Jesus"), may be one of the most autobiographical albums of the 70-year-old singer-songwriter's career. Nearly every tune seems chosen to afford the ailing giant of popular music a chance to reflect on his life, and look ahead to what's around the corner. From the opening track--Cash's own "The Man Comes Around," filled with frightening images of Armageddon--the album, produced by Rick Rubin, advances a quiet power and pathos, built around spare arrangements and unflinching honesty in performance and subject. In 15 songs, Cash moves through dark, haunted meditations on death and destruction, poignant farewells, testaments to everlasting love, and hopeful salutes to redemption. He sounds as if he means every word, his baritone-bass, frequently frayed and ravaged, taking on a weary beauty. By the time he gets to the Beatles' "In My Life," you'll very nearly cry. Go ahead. He sounds as if he's about to, too. Unforgettable. --Alanna Nash

1. The Man Comes Around
2. Hurt
3. Give My Love To Rose
4. Bridge Over Troubled Water
5. I Hung My Head
6. First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
7. Personal Jesus
8. In My Life
9. Sam Hall
10. Danny Boy
11. Desperado
12. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
13. Tear Stained Letter
14. Streets of Laredo
15. We'll Meet Again

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 5, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: American
  • ASIN: B00006L7XQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (620 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #602 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,163 of 1,189 people found the following review helpful By Bram Janssen on October 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I am the least capable person to review this album. This man had been writing and singing songs for forty years and all I'd heard of him was "Ring Of Fire". I knew the song. I did not know who sang it. It was all but another one of these inevitable songs on every compilation, and one of these songs every channel my parents loved so much would play. I never noticed. Today, I still know hardly more.
One late-summer evening as I was zapping through the music channels here in The Netherlands, my thumb froze over the remote. On the screen singing was, not the usual parade of lewd, crafted, playbacking little mouths seemingly right of production lines, not good capable singers only better than the rest because of management and advertisement skills; it was a man dressed in black, looking old as death, with a voice raw as a crow's. I did not know it was he, if it had mattered. It was Cash, singing "Hurt". I looked, listened but then more. It was so unspeakably sad, so unfathomably melancholic. How can I describe the emotions hearing that song? Haunted and moved don't seem adequate.
Enchantment. I was a youth with a passion for music: metal, symphonic, classic, techno. Give it to me, give it to me every day, all day long. I'll be satisfied. I was a youth, looking at an old man, singing for me, singing of his life and emotions. Music moves me always, but it was this music, barely more than a voice and an acoustic guitar, that drew a tear, dropped into my heart - then another and another. Silent, invisible tears filling hollows, and all that showed on the outside, were a sniff of the nose and a blink of the eyes. I was a youth.
Many of the songs on this final album, including "Hurt", are covers, even though some are his own.
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112 of 116 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This American Recording is different. On this album Johnny Cash (who is now 70 years old) never tries to fool himself or us listeners into thinking that he's going to keep on making album after album after album. Let's face it - the voice is even more ragged and torn than last time (American III) and the lyrics are even more desolate, lonesome, and dark than ever before. But this album of new and old originals & covers is probably one of the most beautiful I've ever heard.
Johnny Cash is not a singer. He never was. But without that dark baritone these songs would not have the impact that they do. I could talk about ever individual track on the album - but I'd rather just make it short and sweet by mentioning a few personal favorites.
"The Man Comes Around" - A Cash original that seemed to take a lot of time to get down (coming from the linear notes). Amazing song about that thing called the apocolypse and judgement day. Nobody could do it like Cash. Nobody...
"Hurt" - Johnny Cash takes one of Trent Reznor's (Nine Inch Nails) best songs and makes it even better. Not only does Cash make the song better but he also makes it seem as if the song was meant for just him. Oh, and there is a word change. Where Reznor would say "I wear this crown of sh*t", Johnny now says "I wear this crown of thorns." The change first kinda put me off but then it seems that Johnny's variation make much more sense then the first.
"Bridge over Toubled Water" - just a great cover of an amazing classic. Fiona Apple adds some tender backing vocals that help Johnny along this tune of trouble and redemption.
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170 of 179 people found the following review helpful By J. Sutherland on June 18, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This collection of songs from various artists sung by the great man in black is superb. All of the songs tell tales of heart-break, loves, losses, armageddon, and hope. The great thing about Cash on this album is that he really uses his voice to evoke the emotions behind the songs. On "Hurt," a tune by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Cash sings "What have I become/My sweetest Friend/Everyone I know goes away/In the end," and boy can you tell that he means what he sings. It's so brilliant that I prefer Cash's version to the original. Cash has never been known for his beautiful voice, so like Dylan, he uses his own phrasings to really carry the song. He was very wise in his choices of what songs to record on this album. He chose stuff that you wouldn't think he would choose, such as "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode, and "Bridge Over troubled water" by Simon and Garfunkel. Rick Rubin did a perfect job with the production on this album, it's somewhat spare. With so much passion and range of emotion on this album I couldn't give it anything less than five stars. It deserves a place in any music lovers collection.
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Harding VINE VOICE on May 31, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't listen to a whole lot of country music, but when I do I generally like it undistilled. There are a few C&W artists I like without reservations and then there are those who are enigmatic enough that you never know what to expect from them. Johnny Cash fits into both categories.
Cash's "American" series has been interesting and I was eager to hear what was on offer here after his tremendous Solitary Man album. For once, here's an album which lives up to industry hype. I'll be hard pressed to improve on amazon's adulatory paean to Cash's latest work.
I was floored by the ragged glory of Cash's interpretations of this eclectic material the first time I heard it. Very little of it has any connection to traditional country, but with Cash behind the mike, the country just seems to burst forth.
Some of the more familiar songs I heard with new ears. Songs like Hurt, In My Life and Desperado have a whole lot more meaning when sung by a man of Cash's age as he can look back on life's triumphs and disappointments and sound as if he really means what he's singing.
I like the entire CD, but my favorites are the hellfire and brimstone The Man Comes Around, the mournful Hurt, the remorseful I Hung My Head, the reflective In My Life, the swaggering Sam Hall, the plaintive classic Streets of Laredo, and an uplifting rendition of We'll Meet Again.
The video of Hurt is well worth the extra buck fifty. Watch it...again and again and again! Cash's beloved wife appears in it and her recent death gives it a poignancy money couldn't buy.
I agree with the reviewer who said that Johnny Cash is every bit as important to American music as Elvis Presley. In the autumn of his life, he proves with American IV: The Man Comes Around that he still has what it takes to take his place in the pantheon of American music greats
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