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.Wikipedia
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.
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.
Not me crying in the break room at lunch because Johnny is giving me an existential crisis over the impermanence of life.
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.
this made me cry. a lot.
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
This album could have been half the length and come across stronger. Some brilliant interpretations, some “this is Johnny Cash covering something”.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Boring, uninteresting covers of songs.
Great great album
fav track: i hung my head
kinda boring - prefer johnny singing country
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
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.
Excelent album and songwriter.
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
Cash rules everything around me
Absolutely brilliant Album - loved every track.
Incredible country album. The second song is featured in the Logan movie soundtrack.
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.
Just don’t let the tears water my whiskey.
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.
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.
Awesome. Hurt. These American recordings albums with Rick rubin are amazing
Lightning in a bottle
- "Hurt" is probably one of my favorite songs ever.
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
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.
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.
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.
Forgot how fucking good the American albums are
Cash & Rubin, an unlikely pairing that just works, like peanut butter & jam or SHACK & cable cars.
Cried. Loved. Absolute genius.a
Oh wow, I thought I knew a bit about his music but this was just amazing.
Very sad, excellent.
Great album some of his best work
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. 🙂
Hurt: Director's Cut is the most deserving of 5 stars.
meikaði ekki alveg að hlusta hun er svo sorgleg
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.
Excellent. Definitely a hidden gem!
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.
A number of covers, which I didn't know but Cash's haunting voice always delivers
One of my favorites. The visceral energy in his voice…
I'm normally dubious about covers, but Johnny Cash nailed it
Haunting in retrospect
What the fuck, I never liked this type of music but it was amazing.
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
One of the greatest albums of all time.
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
A huge impactful album. There are a lot of covers and in Cashs style and voice bring it to a different space.
A cover album where Johnny Cash practically made the songs his own. Unmissable.
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.
Relies heavily on his voice, which is still killing it, lots of emotion in each song, some great covers.
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.
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
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....
Amazing. So many emotions. Great storytelling. I Hung My Head is amazing
Premium Johnny and an excellent late career move. Rock Rubin strikes again.
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.
An incredible swan song
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.
I mean, what can you say? Fantastic artist, fantastic album. Beautiful swan song.
Still such a great listen.
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.
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.
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!
T3B 1. Hurt 2. The Man Comes Around 3. I Hung My Head Perfect album! Amazing sorry behind it involving Rick Ruben. 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!
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
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!
His 67th album??? And he created this piece of art while having health issues??? Simply beautiful, a masterpiece from a mastermind.
Such depth and nuance! This was such a marvelously deep aged feeling. Will definitely be on my playlist!
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
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.
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.
Like this album, not the cheeriest but I like it
Some good, recognizable covers. Cash has a great voice. I don't know. Not much to say, other than I enjoyed it a lot. Like that he puts his own spin on the songs
Some of the best covers ever made, but don't overlook the originals. What a legend. Best track: Hurt
Love almost every song.
dobar album, par odličnih pjesama
Although it's an album of covers, there is something so very poignant about it. Thrilling, exhilarating and at times quite depressing.
Despite the album having lots of covers, this one deserves a 4 since Cash really put his own personal stamp on each of them
great listen, and covers. Was surprised how much i enjoyed this album.
4/5 it won me over!
I'm so sad
I first heard portions of American IV: The Man Comes Around shortly after the album came out. I was beginning to dig into some of Johnny Cash's work, and learning to play a couple classic songs. I like this album, and it was a great discovery for me. I reference songs from this album in at least two other reviews on this 1001 album list. I remember seeing Cash on the TV frequently growing up, and it was great to hear what he was doing so late in his career. It was still a year or two before the biographical movie about Cash came out, so there was plenty of room to explore on my own. This album seemed like a reward for exploring his older catalog. Favorite tracks inlcude: "The Man Comes Around", "Hurt" and "Tear Stained Letter". The track I enjoy the least is "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry". I'll blame that on Nick Cave, 100%. There are covers on this album that I don't like as much as the originals, but there are covers that I DEFINITELY like more than the originals too. I'll probably listen to all of this album again.
It was a good listen
Prachtig album, kon dit meer verwachten als gedacht
Of all the guest stars, I think I was most surprised to hear Mrs Mills on piano
Whether it's the last works of a legend looking back over a long life, or someone let grandad do the karaoke, this is better than it should be. Hillariously some unwelcome duets and bizarre choices of arrangement manages to shoot themselves in the foot. A potential five star album given away.
Aside from "Hurt", obviously, the stand out tracks are Cash's own compositions or where it is just him and a guitar. A couple of the covers miss the mark ("Bridge Over Troubled Water", "Danny Boy", "We'll Meet Again" once it broke into a singalong). Some are wrecked; either by an infernal pianist noodling in the background ("Personal Jesus"), or by some awful co-vocalists - Fiona Apple and Don Henley I am looking at you. Overall, though a really enjoyable listen; I just wish they'd have cut out the unnecessary collaborators.
Lots of good renditions here. I really like the sound of Johnny's voice in this record. While it's nice to sometimes make a cover sound true to the original, I like that authentic feel of switching it up every now and then.
The Man in Black - Johnny Cash walked tall & lived & performed on his own terms. I preferred Elvis covering "Bridge Over Troubled Water", but again, Cash does it in a style that was true to himself. A good album with an unusual variety of songs.
Desse álbum, eu apenas conhecia a "Hurt", já que é um dos clássicos do Cash. Além dela, gostei muito de "I Hung My Head" e o cover maravilhoso de "Personal Jesus" do Depeche Mode. Na verdade, esse não é o único cover do álbum, tem também o "In My Life" dos Beatles, "We'll Meet Again" do Ink Spots e pesquisando, descobri que mesmo "Hurt" é um cover e o último sucesso do artista. Para referência, fica aqui esse link: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/johnny-cashs-11-coolest-cover-songs-162155/hurt-nine-inch-nails-167363/
Probably would be upped to a 5 if I had a nice glass of whiskey with me as I listened. Really great stuff.
This is a really great album. I have heard a couple of the songs before the rest were 'new' for me. There are a lot of cover versions on the album mixed with a couple of Johnny Cash originals. His cover versions are amazing - especially Hurt. Standouts: Hurt, I Hung My Head, In My Life, The Man Comes Around, Danny Boy, Desperado, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. 4/5
Some fantastic songs on this album. Hurt is definitely one of those songs that was done much better as a cover (by cash) than the original. Not quite as uptempo as his earlier music but still great
I think it's a bop man. By bop I mean it feels like my fucking soul is being syphoned out of me slowly. I have listened to a lot of Cash. And like, hearing him so fucking old is kind of hard to listen to. Also it's fucking rad he covered Personal Jesus. Fucking neat that one. Much prefer his cover of im so lonesome I could cry. Anyway I fuck with this album, I don't exactly think it's a 5 out of 5. But it's def solid as fuck.
So much sorrow. Glad I listened to it, but these covers are so sad. His voice just oozes calamity, redemption, sadness. Simplicity at its best. Best cover: Hurt
4, close to 4.5, but not quite
Mycket nostalgi för ett par låtar, vänder inte upp och ner på världen men jag gillar det starkt
Hurt is a 6 out of 5 and another 4/5 tracks (Personal Jesus, I Hung My Head) are fives, but there's some stuff that doesn't work, like Bridge Over Troubled Water and In My Life, and even Cash can't make Danny Boy seem essential again. So a four.
Frábær plata. Ótrúleg dýpt í túlkun gamla mannsins.
A modern Cash classic. Fully of gritty guitar and vocals. Quite something. Top tracks: Personal Jesus, Hurt
All of these songs are so sad but good
-"Hurt" is obviously the popular ones and quite emotional. The change in perspective on the lyrics from Trent Reznor's heroin addiction to Johnny Cash's old age is very interesting. -I actually quite like "I Hung My Head" and "Tear Stained Letter" -Some of the songs get really sparse and slow for me, especially in the back half -Pretty good overall
Oooooh a big bag of milk leaking on my face. My needle dick jabbing her minge. Heaven.
Some really good tracks on here, particularly Hurt. I love the original and this cover is just as good. Some lame duffers later on, but pretty good overall.
Can't go wrong with johnny
One of my favorites from cash. Beautiful album
Stripped back covers recorded shortly before Cash's death. Many good choices, some very emotive (Hurt, In My Life), inspired (Personal Jesus) and Bittersweet (We'll Meet Again). His voice was still on point even if he could no longer play.
Jonny creates a dark brooding soundscape and makes his own a disparate set of covers. Somehow he brings them all into this one vision, tails off at the end but the pared back RICK Ruben sounds is great
Quite a moving, reflective set of covers sung by Johnny Cash's in his distinctive voice. He was an old man with not much time left when the record was made and this is apparent in the choice of material. It's stark but never depressing. Cash never has the greatest voice even in his prime but his personality, charm and delivery win the day. One observation, Cash always had quite an old sounding voice, so he doesn't actually sound much different from his 60's heyday. Minor quibble about the mastering, which sounds way over compressed, a common complaint from early 2000's recordings.
Solid. Personal Jesus and In My Life were the best ones for me. I don't think I'd listen to this kind of album over and over again. But it's Johnny Cash giving you his one-of-a-kind voice on a lot of great songs, I respect that.
One of the most iconic voices of all time singing some of the best songs ever written less than a year before his death is grade A emotional manipulation, but goddamn if it doesn’t work
"American IV: The Man Comes Around" is a beautiful album, especially with the rendition of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt", but not only that. The duet with Nick Cave in "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" and the one with Fiona Apple for "Bridge Over Troubled Water" are very well produced and very delicate. "The Man Comes Around", the only new Cash composition on the album, opens and sumirises what the album will be, a great folk country record.
I've heard Hurt before, of course, but not in context. And apparently I hadn't really listened to the peaking at the end, that twin to the overwhelming depth of the opening track of American IV. The production is simply disorienting, maximizing the complexity of the voice and few instruments. The arrangements get fuller as we proceed, but Cash's voice is dead center. I figure one's response to it mirrors one's opinion of the album. I am a fan of the Man in Black, and enjoyed a rock-solid hour of music.
It probably shouldn't work but it does...a Johnny Cash on death's door covers some unlikely songs with immense gravitas. Hurt and Personal Jesus are both epic in their way. All praise Rick Rubin.
Glad to get a non-live Johnny Cash album this time! It starts off fantastically with two songs I'd already had marked as favorites on Spotify. Unfortunately, those were the highlights of the album and it doesn't continue at that level of quality. It's still very enjoyable though. Cash's voice is iconic and the selection of covers is great, although I don't think all of them are executed equally well. As a whole, a good album. But I can't quite justify 5 stars.
I actually really enjoyed this - more than I thought I would at first. The song selections and sparse arrangements are great, thought some of them work better than others (Personal Jesus was a bit of and odd choice for his style imo). I was not aware of this series of albums by Cash, but I think this is a great idea. After a long and fruitful career, why not kick back and just play music for the fun of it, recording versions of songs you like with your signature twist.
Mostly covers which surprised me, but they are all executed so well. Johnny Cash has a way of making songs his own whether he intends to or not, such powerful styles of singing and lyrical delivery. The guest appearances were mostly unnecessary in my opinion, however the Fiona Apple vocals on "Bridge Over Troubled Water" were fantastic. Johnny Cash still knows what the people want to hear after having a whole life behind him. Fave tracks: Hurt, Bridge Over Troubled Water, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
A real mixed bag. When The Man in Black picks the right tunes he's untouchable, however, some of the standards on here are a little cloying - even in the stripped back state. Best Tracks: When The Man Comes Around; Hurt; I Hung My Head
Genre: Americana 4/5 In one of the biggest surprises so far throughout this exercise, American IV is a true triumph for Johnny Cash. A man known for pioneering Outlaw Country, the kind of music men sing to pass the times while locked away (Folsom Prison Blues, Orleans Parish Prison, etc.), pares it back to his roots. Those old country folk tunes he's sung for years, as well as some incredible renditions of a few non-country folk tunes, are given new life in the shape of a 70-year old crooner fighting to keep his career afloat. Rick Rubin produces one of the most heart-wrenching records I've listened to in quite some time. The recording sessions that birthed this album also birthed what may be one of the best covers of all time, Cash's rendition of Trent Reznor's Hurt. His voice writhes with age, but his emotions are felt with every passing lyric. A man who has lost a lot in his life, singing a song about losing it all and fighting to rebuild from the "empire of dirt" before him. Breathtaking. But that song isn't the only tearjerker in the setlist, as Cash's renditions of In My Life (Beatles classic) and Danny Boy are given the same tragic context as Hurt, a man reaching the end, pining for those he's lost and searching for life's purpose, and examining his own mortality. There were some songs on this that didn't reach the mark emotionally or thematically (Sam Hall, Streets of Laredo), and sound as though Johnny and Rick were just having fun with it, but considering Cash died very shortly after this was released, it was probably something he desparetely needed. I really enjoyed this album, and I hope those with close-knit families and those with a little bit of heart enjoy this too.
really enjoyed this one, Hurt gets a hell of a lot of press but there's some great covers on here
Masterful, and so late in life. "Hurt" is haunting.
God Bless Johnny Cash!
Such a special record. Cash's world weary voice is ideal for this selection. What an epitaph for the master
Country for people who don't like country, and everything that needs to be said about the Hurt cover has already been said. Astonishing song.
Truly, an album you have to listen before you die! The lyrics, the guitar, his voice, all perfectly combined in this piece of art.
A brilliant cover and end of the career album. Hurt is one of those covers that blows the original out the water Cash makes it his song. When the man comes around is also a brilliant song. Such a raw album deserves to be on the list.
Touchant Prefs: The Man Comes Around, Hurt, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Personal Jesus, In My Life, Sam Hall, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, Tear Stained Letter, Streets of Laredo Moins pref: Danny Boy
Classic. Just shows what interpretation can deliver
Incredible reworkings of classic songs which Cash makes his own with his inimitable voice, now aged and fragile, which adds an emotive sense of wisdom and gravitas. Rating: 4/5 Playlist track: Hurt Date listened: 11/07/22
Although one of his last recordings, this is a great entry point to people new to Cash. A man in the twilight of his life producing a collection of covers that are super emotionally resonant. I don’t have much respect in general for covers, but these somehow have an aura of artistic integrity belying the fact that he’s just singing someone else’s work
Right on the money
I can see why this was added. A fairy spare recording of Johnny & guitar plus the occasional backup voice(s) & instrumentation. Feels very classic Johnny Cash & some nice interpretations of songs - I particularly liked Give My Love to Rose and Personal Jesus.
"The Man Comes Around" presents like the opening to a play, pretty simplistic in the instrumental and vocals but there's a story being told here. The narrative is made engaging by the music but it tips the ear towards the story to come. "Hurt" actually reminds me of White Rabbit quite a bit, the song is entirely a crescendo right to the end. What is particularly engaging is the build up of the story. These songs are stories just as much as music. Overall, Johnny Cash is solid. Makes me feel like i need a Horse, Ranch and sad love story
I loved this. I prefer the older Johnny Cash stuff because I think his voice is more refined and the songs are more accessible
Wow. I am kinda stunned. I believe there are only three songs on this album that Cash wrote, while the rest are covers. How can someone perform others' work in such a beautiful way and create a presence like Cash does? You can feel in his voice that he's tired and weary, and that the end is nigh, but that doesn't keep him from delivering a performance for the ages. I've always liked Johnny Cash, but never got into him. I think it's time.
I thought this was a complication but wiki tells me it's a cover album, its incredible and the cover of hurt is both haunting and beautiful
This is great - a solid 4 which is impressive given that so many of the songs are covers. Will very happily listen to it again, a great bunch of songs although it plays more like a collection of hits than it does an album. The opening track definitely my favourite, but it's a great opening 3 songs in particular.
There's been a few times on this list when I encountered an album made at the end of an artist's life that serves as a kind of goodbye message to the people who loved their music. This album is a bit strange among those, since it's largely a cover album, but god damn what an exit. He did definitive versions of some of these songs, especially Hurt. Not every song on this album is amazing like that, but they're all good. His voice held up to the very end, and for that we can be grateful 4/5
The 4th album of Johnny Cash's American Recording Series, and the last one published during his lifetime, this record contains mainly sparsely arranged covers, most of which are just acoustic guitar and Cash's unmistakable gravelly voice that is second only to Leonard Cohen's. This affords Cash much room for singing, and he delivers. The album contains - for me - the definitive versions of Hurt and especially Desperado, because he sings them with an absolute authentic, heartbreaking sincerity. Sadly not every song is on that level, some lyrics are quite weak (eg. Sam Hall), and the theme of the condemned man is present in too many songs with too little thematic variation. But that shouldn't distract from how great this album is. 4/5
A really strong release. He really makes the covers his own.
Had this CD when I was younger, good covers
Powerful. But it's still elder abuse.
This is probably the closest I’ve come to giving a five but I really want a five to be close to perfect and there are few moments where the album doesn’t quite work. But my god, this album is still incredible, it contains some of the best covers ever recorded. It is the perfect end to Johnny Cash’s career and a perfect companion to learning about the final years and months of his life.
Full of raw emotion, and also knowing this was the last album recorded by the man in black, male this his greatest work in my opinion. An iconic voice not only covering other artists songs, but reinventing them and making them his own
One of my favorite albums growing up. As well as one of my first CDs. Love what Rick Ruban did with this. Opened the door to me becoming a huge JC fan.
Great album, but lots of covers
More soulful than earlier albums but not his best
the songs on III are better and Hurt is way over-played, but this is still pretty awesome
I hurt myself today
As far as his more modern recordings go, this one is pretty good. I know this was one of his last albums released during his lifetime, but he still has the energy, spirit and that "voice", the quintessential performer until the end. This is what sets Cash apart from everyone else in the genre. Respect!
When I took guitar lessons as a 9 year old, the song Streets of Laredo was in the songbook. I should probably mention that to my therapist. I can't say Give My Love to Rose is his best jailbird song since it doesn't have lyrics about shooting a man in Reno, but it’s a beauty. Bridge Over Troubled Water is one of the songs that defines Art Garfunkles' prowess singing. Paul Simon tries to sing it when he tours solo but the song sounds terrible. I love how Johnny and his barely existing vocal range sounds so darn good. Fiona Apple, who could nail these vocals, adds lovely accompanying vocals. The First Time I Ever Saw You is a song that I always hated. Johnny takes the weenie out of the Roberta Flack version. Personal Jesus and In My Life are excellent. I could keep going on about the other covers on this album. Until the mid sixties it was common to make albums full of songs that others wrote but once 1970 came around this was no longer fashionable. Johnny may be the only one who could pull this off in 2000. RIP Mr. Cash
Some really good covers here
I love covers and already know a few songs from this album 1. The man comes around - reminds me of a bright eyes song 2. Hurt - great song and I remember this music video 3. Give my love to Rose - sweet classic country sound 4. Bridge under troubled water - i just love a good cover; the swells are nice 5. I hung my head - I love this one and didn’t realize it was a classic till now 6. First time ever I saw your face - a little sappy and slow 7. Personal Jesus - also didn’t realize this was a cover till recently 8. In my life - never heard this before but love the original and this version 9. Sam Hall - I like the funny songs they remind me of camp 10. Danny boy - it’s fine but i think better original 11. Desperado - a classic 12. I’m so lonesome I could cry - not my fave version 13. Tear stained letter - boppy I like the piano 14. Streets of Laredo - fine nothing special to me 15. We’ll meet again - a nice one to end on
This album is ridiculously good. Cash's version of Hurt and Hung My Head are definitive. 5/5
What a great listen
Really enjoyed this. I'm a Johnny cash fan anyway but I liked his take on these songs. Hung my head and streets of loredo were my favourites
Johnny Cash is the only old man's country voice that I'll listen to.
Heartfelt with good and engaging vocals and simplistic yet at times intriguing instrumentals
If this is what death sounds like then there’s no need to be afraid.
This is probably the first album I (and a number of other people, I'm sure) had gotten of Cash's material. I then went back and picked up a number of the American Recordings and a lot of this other stuff. Although this is a great recording and I like it a lot, I can't give it 5 stars. In my mind, a 5-star recording is a classic album, a truly great album. All the songs have to be at least likeable. There is at least one song on this album that is really really unlistenable. "Sam Hall" is debatable. It's mediocre at best. It makes me think of "A Boy Named Sue, " but not as witty. A lot of the other covers are really effective: "I Hung My Head," "Personal Jesus," "Hurt..." Man, he just owns "Hurt," doesn't he? "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is okay, I guess. I don't think there's anything he really adds to the song's original gravitas. Then... there's "Desperado." I mean, the original song is not a real toe-tapper to begin with. But... MAN. That version is SO depressing and somber I am almost ready to KILL myself every time it comes on. Cash sings that first line and zip, I have to skip that track. WAY, WAY too somber and morose. So yeah, the one song is just so depressing it makes the album miss its mark. Sorry, Johnny.
67th album he's done according to Wikipedia. Wow. This is a tough one, with titles like The Man Comes Around and Hurt those songs are 5s, some of the other songs are 4s for me. But you can definitely tell he's done, he's ready to go. Fiona's backup vocals were nice as well. In some ways I can only give it a 4 since most of the good songs are actually covers.
Pretty much the perfect way to reinvent yourself towards the end of your career. Put your faith in a visionary producer, open yourself up to unexpected material, strip it down to basics, reinvent said material (including your own) with the sheer weight of your life which is reflected in your voice. Johnny Cash was both incredibly open minded and supremely humble to be able to put his faith in Rick Rubin. Likewise, Rick Rubin had absolute reverence for Johnny Cash and knew just how to focus on his strengths without overdoing anything. Perhaps the oddest pairing of producer and performer I can think of, but man they made one of the best parting gifts to music of all time.
Very enjoyable listen. Very haunting and interesting takes on a few covers, including Desperado, We'll Meet Again and I Hung My Head, in addition to the obvious Hurt.
Una de les tornades més celebrades i la base sobre la qual es basarien molts més comebacks a partir d'aleshores, la majoria (Neil Diamond, Black Sabbath, Metallica....) també amb Rubin com a co-protagonista. En aquesta sèrie de discos un Cash despullat prioritza la seva veu sobre un cançoner lluny de la seva zona de comfort... i excel.leix com poques vegades abans a la seva carrera. Aquesta quart entrega és la millor de totes, amb un clàssic modern que dona títol, i amb dues versions amb vida pròpia: 'Personal Jesus' i, és clar, una 'Hurt' que fa tota seva
Hurt ist eine absolute Bombe. Der Typ bringt Emotionen auf eine Weise rüber, die mich total abholt.
Great, but capped at 4 for me because it's mainly covers. Still, he made each his own.
Good collection of tunes and his voice fits the arrangements perfectly. Not the shit-kicking prison-pumping Cash that I prefer overall, but impossible not to appreciate the intent and execution here. Not so sure about "Personal Jesus" and "Danny Boy," but whatevs. Ending with "We'll Meet Again," kinda makes up for the missteps on the way.
Already own this album in physical format, which indicates it once held enough appeal for me to shell out some bunce. It's pretty great, no? A lovely selection of songs, some of the best cuts from NIN, Depeche Mode, Simon and Garfunkel, Ewan MacColl (his best ever?) and more. 'The Man Comes Around' (the track) remains a late career triumph. Given that it's a Rick Rubin production it was never going to be a bells 'n' whistles sound universe; sometimes I think the minimal orchestration is super-effective, other times I feel it's ever so slightly lacking. Do we need another 'Danny Boy'? Still, Cash's voice is akin to an old jumper - a bit ragged but warm and familiar.
I do love this record. Love the production on it, love the takes on these songs. Bridge Over Troubled Water is a little off, but I still love hearing these. Good stuff.