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American IV: The Man Comes Around

Johnny Cash

2002

American IV: The Man Comes Around
Album Summary

American IV: The Man Comes Around is a studio album by Johnny Cash. It was released on November 5, 2002, by American Recordings and Universal Records. It is the fourth in Cash's "American" series of albums, and the last album released during his lifetime, and is considered some of his finest work towards the end of his life. The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

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Rating

3.89

Votes

10929
Genres
Country

Reviews

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Wed Oct 28 2020
5

One of the most unforgettable, chilling voices in history. An album that is stripped and beautiful, relying on the emotional strength that Johnny Cash's voice is capable of. This album is almost hard to listen to because it feels so imbued with grief and knowledge - you can almost tell that Johnny knows that he is going to die, and this album is a reckoning with the different aspects of a life long lived. While this is a cover album, it feels transformational (like a great cover album should). Songs like "In My Life" sound completely different. It doesn't sound like a bad pastiche of the original artists, but rather the uniquely simple and strong instrumentation and vocals of a country legend. 5/5.

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Sat Jul 23 2022
5

The greatest version of Desperado, period (featuring non other than Don Henley on background vocals). A cover of a Nine Inch Nails song that somehow becomes one of The Man In Black's greatest songs (its no longer a Trent Reznor song, it's forever a Johnny Cash song). Cash and producer Rick Rubin come close to doing the same to a Depeche Mode classic. Fiona Apple sings with Cash on Bridge Over Troubled Water. Billy Freaking Preston shows up to tickle the ivories on a couple of tracks. Some of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers contribute, along with a Chili Pepper, Nick Cave, and the great Marty Stuart. But it's still Johnny Cash who makes it all work, his voice huskier than ever, sometimes sounding like he's singing at his own funeral, ready to shuffle off his mortal coil at the end. The ultimate victory lap to cement his legend, the last album released while Johnny Cash was alive. It's the perfect swan song.

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

I mean... dang. Old Cash beats the pants off of Young Cash any day. These songs, covers and all, are so hauntingly beautiful. You feel the weight of life lived, mistakes made, and perspective gained in Cash's performances. It's a damn near perfect album.

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Sun Apr 03 2022
5

Not me crying in the break room at lunch because Johnny is giving me an existential crisis over the impermanence of life.

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Sat Dec 18 2021
3

This album could have been half the length and come across stronger. Some brilliant interpretations, some “this is Johnny Cash covering something”.

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Tue Jan 25 2022
3

It's an interesting album. The sparse acoustic guitar accompaniment goes well with Johnny Cash's voice to make for a haunting, somber tone. My issue with the album is the song selection. Some (Hurt, Personal Jesus, In My Life) work great, but others (Bridge Over Troubled Water, First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Desperado) just don't work for me. They sound awkward and forced. 3 stars.

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Tue Mar 08 2022
2

Oh I'm just not arsed, Johnny. Just well known songs that aren't really improved. I know it was just before he kicked the bucket and Hurt was all very poignant and that, but...yeah whatever. Sue me.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
1

First track was better than expected, but nothing else was. And I didn't expect much. Really not a fan of traditional Johnny Cash, and his take on the more modern songs didn't do much for me either - I much prefer the original versions in every case. Bridge Over Troubled Water was particularly painful, especially when the backing vocals come in. Danny Boy has been murdered by many before, and it's good to hear Johnny Cash keep up that tradition. I listened, so at least I can say I gave it a chance, and I definitely preferred this to most of his other music. Still hated it.

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Wed Dec 29 2021
5

Amazing. How he takes songs from different eras and dramatically different artists and turns them into his own classic Cash style. His vocal performance and emotional delivery create something magical and knowing it was his last work brings it all to a new realm. I truly responded emotionally and for me that is what true art and performance does.

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Fri Sep 16 2022
5

Wow. So hauntingly beautiful. For an album of covers, this feels incredibly intimate - to the point that it sometimes feels too personal to listen to. The way Johnny Cash delivers these songs and makes them his own is something else. His voice is calm but deeply emotional, and it demands your attention. He's contemplative and retrospective too, as if he's looking back at every facet of his life while saying goodbye through his music. Being my first full-length Cash album, this makes me thankful for this project. What a pleasure listening to this record. I'm only saddened by the fact that I might not be able to play it front to back as much as I want to, because it starts feeling very heavy and emotional at some point. But that's only a testament to how good it is. Standout tracks would have to be Hurt, In My Life, Desperado, & We'll Meet Again, but the whole album is breathtaking.

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Sun Apr 10 2022
4

I watched Walk Hard:The Dewey Cox Story this week and would have loved for Johnny Cash to have covered Beautiful Ride or Let’s Duet on American V

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Thu Dec 30 2021
5

Cash rules everything around me

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Tue Jan 04 2022
5

I love how even though this album is mostly made of covers, Cash makes them sound like they were always his songs to begin with Favorites: The Man Comes Around, Hurt, Personal Jesus, Streets of Laredo

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

initial thoughts: why have I never sat down and fully listened to this album, I basically favorited every song on it fav off album: hurt

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Mon May 09 2022
5

I think this is one of those rare moments. I must be honest, sacrilegious as I know this is, but much as I admire and respect Johnny Cash for so many reasons, I never really cared to listen to him. It didn't bother me; I just wasn't interested. Well, with this album, forget all that. I feel like this is one of those 'a-ha!' moments when something inside me switched on and now, silly as this might sound, I "get it". I know. Could I be any later to the party? Nothing I can do about that, my friends. Here I am. Brilliant.

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Mon Oct 10 2022
5

I was waiting for this album. Dang Johnny, thanks for this last one. Simple, beautiful arrangements. His originals, reworked or not (The Man Comes Around, Give My Love to Rose, Tear Stained Letter) have just as good lyrics and draw you in just as well as any of his other previous songs or versions. His version of Hurt just epitomizes this whole album - stripped down, vulnerable, sad (mostly). I Hung My Head and Personal Jesus are other great examples of how his reworked versions really put a new spin on the original. You have to be in a certain mood for it, but as a concept this album is brilliant, as is his execution.

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Tue Aug 23 2022
5

Poignant and beautiful. Hurt and Personal Jesus are magnificent examples of what good covers should be. And I love hearing Cash re-do songs with his impossibly gravelly old man voice that he first recorded in the 50s and 60s. Give My Love to Rose is even sadder now! You know how artists will get together and do tribute albums to a musician after they die? I feel like Johnny Cash decided to record one of those for himself, and he killed it.

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Tue Sep 05 2023
3

good but always the same thing

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Mon Nov 07 2022
2

Original NIN version of hurt is way better, bugs me that everyone thinks its a Johnny Cash song First impressions of this album is that it's an album middle aged conservative men love because he sings about good ol american values n shit. Not that I always dislike that but this all sounds too jesus-y for me. Damn he covered personal jesus too, this version sucks more that hurt. Jesus, In My life too, this is the worst cover yet. I hate this man's voice, I get he's trying to sound sad but he just sounds bored. Ok I'm gonna skip the last 3 songs, I've heard enough All of his songs sound the same to me, I'm not a fan

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Tue Sep 15 2020
1

Boring, uninteresting covers of songs.

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Thu Jan 13 2022
5

Cash's late imperial phase is dominated by covers, yes, but so was most of his career. Anyway this album is fantastic, not a bad song here.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
5

A great album by one of the greatest songwriters of his era. A very moving, extremely well done mix of originals and covers that feel like they could be his own. Highly recommended much like the other albums in the American Recording series.

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Mon May 02 2022
3

kinda boring - prefer johnny singing country

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Fri May 27 2022
1

Ugh. This was not much an album. It was not memorable and not really singing the lyrics but more of speaking the lyrics. The covers were weird and not good at all. Did this album get added simply because it is Johnny Cash? Yes. Is it dog shit? Yes.

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Tue Sep 22 2020
5

Excelent album and songwriter.

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Fri Sep 25 2020
5

The man the myth the legend. Chills the entirety of the album. Hurt is the biggie but in my life is tremendous as is desperado

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Tue Jan 04 2022
5

Absolutely brilliant Album - loved every track.

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Sat Jan 08 2022
5

Incredible country album. The second song is featured in the Logan movie soundtrack.

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Tue Jan 11 2022
5

Manages to even makes Sting sound good. A classic. Best known for Personal Jesus but Cash’s version of Saw Your Face seals it for me.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

Just don’t let the tears water my whiskey.

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Mon Jan 31 2022
5

Awesome. Hurt. These American recordings albums with Rick rubin are amazing

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Thu Feb 10 2022
5

- "Hurt" is probably one of my favorite songs ever.

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Fri Feb 11 2022
5

I enjoyed this, hadn’t heard it before but had come across a few of the songs before. A lot of covers, changed to feel and sound like he wrote them. Emotional and poignant. A bit more country than I'd normally like but still. 5/5

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Thu Mar 03 2022
5

Ég hlustaði talsvert á þessa á sínum tíma. Fannst allt tal um Cash sem mikinn spámann ósannfærandi, en platan þótti mér góð. Og hún stenst algerlega tímans tönn, þvílíkt lagaval (fyrir utan Desperado) oftast útgáfur sem eru næstum jafn góðar originallinn (First time I ever I saw your face) eða toppa hann (Hurt). Fyrirgefum honum Bridge over troubled water.

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Fri Mar 04 2022
5

Quelle voix. C'est l'album qui m'a amené à m'intéresser à Johnny Cash. La façon qu'il s'approprie les chansons est fantastique. Rick Rubin a fait tout un travail pour emballer le tout et que ça cadre bien avec l'artiste. Sa reprise de Hurt est hallucinante. Même Trent Reznor après avoir entendu la reprise et avoir vu le clip a déclaré que cette chanson ne lui appartient plus. Un gros coup de coeur pour moi.

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Sat Mar 05 2022
5

I am not sure if this is controversial, but late Johnny Cash (American I - VI) is my favorite Johnny Cash. 5 stars for hurt by itself, but Blackbird is on point, too. This is one of the first albums I reviewed for the radio station I worked at in college.

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Sat Mar 05 2022
5

Forgot how fucking good the American albums are

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Tue Mar 08 2022
5

Cash & Rubin, an unlikely pairing that just works, like peanut butter & jam or SHACK & cable cars.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
5

Cried. Loved. Absolute genius.a

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

Oh wow, I thought I knew a bit about his music but this was just amazing.

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Wed Mar 16 2022
5

Great album some of his best work

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Tue Mar 22 2022
5

Beautiful covers- Jonny Cash style as well as nostalgic rendetions of his old songs. My favourite were hurt and hung my head. But the album finishes stunningly with We will meet again almost like a goodbye and a stamp on his legendary status and legacy. 🙂

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Sun Apr 03 2022
5

Hurt: Director's Cut is the most deserving of 5 stars.

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Thu Apr 07 2022
5

meikaði ekki alveg að hlusta hun er svo sorgleg

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Fri Apr 08 2022
5

It's Johnny so it's getting a 5. While I'm not usually one for the sadder music, this album is very beautiful and knowing that it was after the death of his wife you can feel the emotion coming through. A great epilogue, from one of the all time greats.

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Fri Apr 15 2022
5

Excellent. Definitely a hidden gem!

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Tue Apr 26 2022
5

This album has me welling up with tears on so many tracks. I'm not sure if Well Meet Again is supposed to be a happy, hopeful song, but I know this version of it makes me tear up. So many tracks on this album are emotional. I know Hurt got a lot of deserved attention, but tracks like First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and Danny Boy are equally great and emotional.

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Tue Jun 07 2022
5

A number of covers, which I didn't know but Cash's haunting voice always delivers

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Sun Jul 10 2022
5

One of my favorites. The visceral energy in his voice…

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Fri Jul 15 2022
5

I'm normally dubious about covers, but Johnny Cash nailed it

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Mon Jul 18 2022
5

What the fuck, I never liked this type of music but it was amazing.

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Tue Jul 19 2022
5

10/10 what a beautiful end to his discography I especially love that the last song was a cover of We’ll Meet Again beautiful stuff

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Fri Jul 29 2022
5

One of the greatest albums of all time.

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Fri Aug 05 2022
5

Maybe this is not considered the best Cash's work, even the maturest one, mainly because it's a covers album. But, without any doubt, it's my favorite! All songs and lyrics are unique, and Cash's interpretation is astonished. My first Johnny Cash on this list, and I consider it lucky

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Sat Aug 06 2022
5

A huge impactful album. There are a lot of covers and in Cashs style and voice bring it to a different space.

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Sat Aug 13 2022
5

This is one of the saddest albums I've ever listened to. It's a man, who knows he's on his way out. All the covers are phenomenal. I love We'll Meet Again, Hurt, In My Life. Jesus it is really beautiful. We'll Meet Again, such a banging way to go out. I had to deal with me being very likely to die too, so I respect how humble Cash is feeling about it (I feel way better now thanks to treatement, it was never terminal, never even close to it, but I learned how fragile life is). 5/5. Without a doubt

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

A cover album where Johnny Cash practically made the songs his own. Unmissable.

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Wed Aug 24 2022
5

Relies heavily on his voice, which is still killing it, lots of emotion in each song, some great covers.

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

Folk/country really isn't my jam and Cash's voice usually bothers me but this album blew me away. What great storytelling and compelling musicality across all the tracks! It may be full of covers, but each is excellent; familiar yet perfectly matched to Cash's style.

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

American IV is the last Johnny Cash album released while he was alive. This fact makes the album even more somber. So many of the songs like Streets of Laredo, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, We'll Meet Again, and Desperado have such a different meaning coming from a man at the end of his life. This is a fantastic album, and I hope every music fan can at least appreciate it. Best Songs: The Man Comes Around, Hurt, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, We'll Meet Again, Streets of Laredo, Desperado Worst Songs: NA

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Thu Sep 08 2022
5

Cover songs done by an aged Country star. But done in a powerful way. Some work, some don't. And of course then there's Hurt....

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Sun Sep 11 2022
5

Amazing. So many emotions. Great storytelling. I Hung My Head is amazing

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Mon Sep 12 2022
5

Premium Johnny and an excellent late career move. Rock Rubin strikes again.

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Tue Sep 20 2022
5

Such a powerful album, maybe it's his emotion that comes through or that he was near the end of his life but this album has an almost unexplainable weight to it. Cash is at his most vulnerable. You feel his grief, his regrets, and his passion throughout. It's a perfect album when life is it's most difficult and you need someone to share that pain with.

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Sat Sep 24 2022
5

Like probably everyone else, I loved this album. Everything from the original songs to the well-chosen covers, hurt being the most famous of them, are excellent and perfectly showcase johnny cash in his twilight years. The album definitely has a more modern, melancholy theme than anything else cash ever did and knowing the condition he was in when he recorded this makes it hit even harder. He also does everything from love songs to sad songs to modern pop songs on this album and doesn't falter in any genre.

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Sun Sep 25 2022
5

I mean, what can you say? Fantastic artist, fantastic album. Beautiful swan song.

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Thu Oct 06 2022
5

This album is so great, not only because it's such high quality, but it's amazing to listen to his final work. One of the best albums every in our opinion.

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Mon Oct 10 2022
5

Wow, I can't believe they removed this from the 1001 albums. Such a poignant album - Johnny died less than a year after its release. While you can hear the pain and age in his voice, he still sounds amazing. In fact, that's one of the reasons I love "Sam Hall" - despite his age and illness he's still got some fun energy to share. The most well known track is his amazing cover of NIN's Hurt. Trent Reznor famously said it was no longer his song after Johnny Cash covered it. The video is painful to watch - June Carter Cash looks on at Johnny in his pain and illness, yet she predeceased him - they both died within the next year. The track is powerful enough without that fact - it becomes devastating with it. Every track is fantastic, but the standouts for me are The Man Comes Around, Hurt, Bridge Over Troubled Water (Johnny's voice makes this and In My Life sound so much more powerful than the originals, both of which I love), I Hung My Head (better than Sting's original - notice a trend here?), First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, In My Life (hearing John Lennon sing it with the Beatles is nice, but he was a young man - it means much more coming from an old man near the end of his life), Sam Hall, Danny Boy (beautiful rendition), Desperado (again, better than the original), I'm So Lonely I Could Cry (I thought it was Bonnie Prince Billy singing with him - listen to "I See a Darkness" on American III - but it turned out to be Nick Cave), We'll Meet Again (what a great song to end the last album released during his lifetime. Great touch that the last song is an optimistic song that sounds free of pain). Did I just name almost all the tracks on the album? Yes, yes I did. Absolute 5.

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Sun Oct 16 2022
5

Vihajaat sanovat että kovereita.. Cash laulaa tunteella.. Biisit omakseen.. Vanha cash.. Äänessä jotain tuttua.. mutta myös kuolemaa.. Kuunnellessa tämä tuntui viideltä tähdeltä... Katson allmusic rating.... 2 ja puol...... kerro se kahdella..... Allmusic ei olekkaan kaikkitietävämusiikki - päinvastoin - kaikkea ei hän tiedä, cash tietää ja laulaa!

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Sun Oct 23 2022
5

T3B 1. Hurt 2. The Man Comes Around 3. I Hung My Head Perfect album! Amazing sorry behind it involving Rick Ruben. 5!

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Tue Oct 25 2022
5

So many good tracks. Easy 5/5 for me. His cover of "Hurt" is one of the most heart-wrenching songs of all time. I also particularly love the cover of "Personal Jesus". I think he did an amazing job at taking other songs that he didn't write and elevating them in his own way. This was an album I listened to a lot with my brother as we grew up big Cash fans and knew that with every release in this time period he was getting older and closer to death. So sad that his wife June passed less than a year after this was released, and then he passed a few months after her. Two absolute American icons!

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Thu Oct 27 2022
5

This is an excellent album and it amazes me that at the age he was and with the amount of music he had already released he came out with this. 'The Man Comes Around' is one of the best album openers I've ever heard in my life. 'Hurt', a Nine Inch Nails cover is so good that the cover has pretty much become the original. 'I Hung My Head', a cover of a song I'd actually never heard before is beautiful. Johnny Cash has a way of making powerful and poignant lyrics hit even harder then they usually would. The album ends very strongly with 'We'll Meet Again'. This album is an experience man. I highly recommend it. 4.5/5

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Mon Nov 07 2022
5

Great album. The covers are well done and fit with Johnny's voice perfectly. The duets are great. Hurt is no longer a Nine Inch Nails song, its a Johnny Cash song!

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Thu Nov 17 2022
5

His 67th album??? And he created this piece of art while having health issues??? Simply beautiful, a masterpiece from a mastermind.

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Fri Nov 18 2022
5

Such depth and nuance! This was such a marvelously deep aged feeling. Will definitely be on my playlist!

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Mon Nov 28 2022
5

I bought this album it when it first came out, so it was shortly before Johnny Cash died. I listened to it a lot after he passed, so some of these songs still hit me quite hard when I hear them now. It's definitely a pretty dour album, but listening today I also hear subtle moments of brightness, sweetness, attitude, humor. It's a final album by a man who is ready to meet his maker, but it also has a retrospective feel. It's like Cash is contemplating not only his mortality, but his career and his place in country music. Much has been said and written about Johnny Cash's collaborations with Rick Rubin, and rightly so. This is some of the most vital and surprising music of the past 25 years. The songs chosen for the album are an interesting and inspired mix, mostly covers of other artists, plus remade versions of several of Cash's earlier recordings. All are fitting for a singer of Cash's particular vocal abilities and for a man considering his life and career in retrospective. The title track sets the mood for the whole album - somber and jarring, but also jubilant in its way. The covers are a masterclass in how a singer can interpret the work of other artists without losing an ounce of their own musical vision. Some of these original songs are so well-known and hard to imagine as covers. But Cash makes them his own with a stark, yet expressive style that is so compelling. I mean, can you hear even NIN's version of "Hurt" anymore without recalling Cash's version? Backing Cash is a deep and surprising bench of musical talent. I don't think anyone but Cash could have inspired such a diverse group of artists to work with him - Don Henley, Fiona Apple, Marty Stuart, Nick Cave, Billy Preston, John Frusciante, Mike Campbell... it boggles the mind. What could have become a bloated production is instead a stripped-down masterpiece. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Hurt, Personal Jesus, In My Life, The Man Comes Around, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Desperado, Sam Hall, I Hung My Head, We'll Meet Again, Danny Boy, Streets of Laredo, Give My Love to Rose, Tear Stained Letter

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Tue Nov 29 2022
5

Approaching death's door, The Man in Black showed us the beauty in finality with the fourth installment of what brought his name back to legendary status, giving us his interpretations of modern classics and having them be shown in a whole new light, thus forever changing how they'd be perceived by those who wouldn't take a second look beyond the first. A hell of a way to go out.

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Wed Nov 30 2022
5

Amazing. Am already a massive Cash fan (and disagree that this is his best work, although it is amongst the best). But this series builds beautifully on his legacy. The song selection, the story and the performances all work together beautifully. And that’s before we even start on THAT voice. Uplifting and moving, this has one of the most compelling closing tracks on any album. First Time probably my favourite here, but Cash has even made Sting sound good, which takes SOME doing. Top drawer throughout.

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