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American IV: The Man Comes Around
LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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American IV: The Man Comes Around
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This is the fourth and last album from the Rick Rubin produced 'American' sessions to be released before Cash's death in September 2003. The album features a collection of covers including Beatles' 'In My Life' and Depeche Mode's 'PersonalJesus' as well as original tracks penned by Cash himself. The single 'Hurt', a cover of the Nine Inch Nails classic is also included.
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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
The fourth installment on American is "The Man Comes Around." And how. Yes, Johnny covers more songs previously made popular by other artists. Yes, his voice is weathered and broken in all the right places. And this is exactly what makes this CD one to cherish. If Cash's treatment of such songs as Roberta Flack's "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" doesn't move you, try on his take of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water." If that doesn't do it, you're too jaded and shallow to be listening to anything this emotional and you'd be better off warbling along to something Celine Dion just crooned about for the fifty-seventh time on Lite Rock.
Cash is the original Johnny Cool. Period.
a somwhat dulcimer to barritone, very manly tone. He tells moral stories on occassion, about himself; he makes me think of the concesquences I'm responsible for, and where i could end up. Sometimes he talk-sings to you, you don't walk away unmoved. Subjects he covers: Good and evil, justice (some day), shame of ourselves, being poor, traveling, Death, stuggles of all types, love & how that can bring you to your knees too, & pure happiness, pride, enjoyment of life & it's pleasures. Too many to list. He covers tracks by various artists' (Depeche Mode, & Trent Reznor) for instance. These take on new lives, to become their most poignant with Mr. Cash. He covers every genre & knows no boundaries. Welcome to the Mr. Johnny Cash Experience. Only in America.
Bought "America 4: The Man Comes Around" cd, because they did not have "Unearthed" and it had some of the tracks, along with "The Legend of CASH", i was set. "The Legend" has a lot of older songs as well as, 'Dehlia's Dead', & 'Rusty Cage' (orig. by Sound Garden).
Great production also, it's like you are in his home sitting near by.