|American IV: The Man Comes Around
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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
UK special edition reissue of The Man In Black's brilliant 2002 album includes two bonus tracks, 'Big Iron' (previously vinyl only) & 'Hurt' (video). American Recordings. 2003.
"the Man Comes Around" is the Fourth in the Legendary Singer's American Recordings Series and Boasts Some of his Most Interesting Work to Date, Including his First (And Some Say his Best) Compositions in Many Years. Other Material Includes Cover Versions of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus", Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water", the Eagles' "Desperado" and a Rumbling Version of "Danny Boy". This Special Edition Includes an Added Audio Track of "Big Iron" and the Enhanced Video of his Cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt".
This item has been reviewed a million times already, but I feel a need to add my two cents to this group of reviews. I must simply say that this album is just raw. It has an edge to it that other music rarely achieves, and is able to inspire emotion like no other.
I had never listened to Johnny Cash before this album, and may not listen to any other releases of his, but this album will be a mainstay in my collection for the rest of my life. I was driving home from work one day, listening to a rock station, and a song came on. I did not know who the artist was, but the song was familiar. I managed to find out that it was Johnny Cash doing a rendition of "Hurt". It was to say the least amazing, raw, emotion filled, and painful. Despite being one of my favorite songs ever, it is not even in my opinion the best song on the album.
Even if you don't like country music, I don't, this album is amazing, and most certainly worthy of the small price it costs to purchase....more info
- A Gift for Anyone
I bought this as a gift for my husband. All I can really say is that he loves the CD. He's a Johnny Cash fan, even though he doesn't listen to a lot of country music. He said it was awesome....more info
- this man is the best of American music
I have always like American music, even when I hated American doo-wappy-bing-bang policies. Johnny Cash is the utmost American musician: Dark, lonely hero, saying what is true. It is something raw and hard and bold. That's what I go to American music to get, and this man does it most....more info
- Classic Cash
One of the best Cash albums I wanted at a great price! I will enjoy listening to this album on road trips and lesure time! My favorite songs on this album are when the man comes around,sam hall,hurt and personal jesus! If you love Cash check this one out!...more info
- this CD turned me into a Johny cash fan...
Ive never really was into country music, but last week Ive bought 2 Cash CD's . One of them, the American V , is an instant pleasure, no need to adjust. Its WARM, acoustic, filling, emotional, calm. Great CD! ...more info
- More than just music
Some people may choose to pan this album because of the raw sounding Cash, but the fact is that's what makes it so great. The entire CD is Cash throwing open the doors to his soul. Maybe it's too much for some people to bare witness to, but for every other member of the human race it's a moving testimonial to the life of great artist and a complex man. There are many great albums out there, but very few true masterpieces. This is definately one of them, if not THE one. ...more info
- It's Alpha's and Omega's Kingdom Come
And Hell followed with him. . .
I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel.
I focus on the pain, the only thing that's real.
"But I remember everything. . ."
This is the penultimate Cash record. I am not a Johnny Cash fan, but I found him via the movie "Walk The Line" and I am not ashamed to admit so.
"And don't forget to give my love to rose."...more info
- mostly fantastic
so here is Cash's final album, a collection of covers and original songs. while not all of the covers work perfectly, some of them are immensly powerful, and what is presented here is often very depressing.
the most well known song being the nine inch nails cover 'hurt' is unbelievably emotional; you will swear he wrote it. other covers that are fantastic in my mind are sting's 'i hung my head,' a great fit for cash, ewan macoll's classic 'the first time ever i saw your face,' which may be my favorite version, and 'bridge over troubled water' by paul simon. cash's original numbers are all great too, i mostly wish there were a couple more on this record that he wrote. the title track is a great opening song, and sets the stage for an emotional complex recording, a song like 'sam hall' gives a humorous side to the record that is great.
while it is rather odd hearing cash cover depeche mode, the fact of the matter remains that cash could really cover a song. when cash does someone elses song he doesn't just play it, he makes it his own everytime. his voice will cut through you....more info
- 4 1/2 stars - but great cd!
I first heard his cover of Nine Inch Nails "Hurt"... and thought it was an amazing cover!!! NIN's Trent Reznor singing "Hurt" is a darks ong to begin with... but the man of darkness, Cash, there's just something about Johnny Cash that made that song all the more darker when he sings it... I read an interview w/ Trent Reznor (NIN) and Reznor said, "I have not listened to my version since Johnny Cash's version." (i can't remember his exact words, but it was very much along the lines of what i quoted above.)
I bought the cd just for "Hurt", but I ended up liking the title track, "The Man Comes Around", and "I Hung My Head"... I liked his cover of "In My Life"... the guitars on that is great...
"Desperado" cover is also great... and I got to hear for the first time, the song called "Sam Hall" which i originally heard Clint Eastwood sing in the movie "Two Mules For Sister Sara", so it was nice to hear Cash singing it put to music...
When the cd came out, i also heard "Personal Jesus" originally by Depeche Mode... his cover on this is okay... i felt it could be better, guitar wise... out of the 2, i have to say i like Depeche Mode's version better, mainly becuase of how their guitars sound, and the vocals too.. I could tolerate Cash's vocals on it if the guitars matched DM's, but they don't... Cash's version on this song is just a lil slow for me...
which is why i gave it 4 1/2 stars.... but it is a great cd... and whether or not your a long time Cash fan then check out this cd... Cash fan's might not like this one, but if you're up for something diff... then check it out... I've never really been into Johnny Cash, but when this cd came out, i got it, solely for "Hurt"... I to, haven't listened to NIN's version since Cash's.....more info
- American IV : The Man Comes Around
I have always liked Johnny Cash but had none of his CDs. This CD shows the difference between a performer and an artist. This CD is true art. The whole Cd has a very deep message, if you listen and then think of what Johnny is saying. The 1st song "The Man Comes Around" is maybe the BEST SONG I HAVE EVER HEARD, but certainly one of the best....more info
- Classic Cash
I'm not a country music fan at all, but Johnny Cash crosses all boundaries. This is a great album....more info
- Sad ending for a truly great artist
You got to be a die-hard Johnny Cash fan in order to like this CD. Johhny gives it his all, but it's a sad ending to a wonderful career. Johnny's voice is shaky, and he can only hit notes at a very limited range. Many times he's off-key, and background singers have to carry the songs. Even with the help of great sound mixers, this CD is pathetic. All-in-all, if you rate this CD as a tribute to a great star and a great career and ignore it's flatness, you will obviously love it. If you want to buy it for Johnny's singing ability, forget it. This CD isn't for you....more info
- How Sad
I've been a fan of Johhny Cash for over forty years now, listening to and buying his songs from time to time.
So, based on the other laudatory reviews, I ordered American IV.
I listned to it this afternoon and was very sad, listening to this man whose voice and songs had enthralled me for years struggling to catch enough breath to sing those ragged notes. One of the reviewers sad that he never had much of a voice and thus the ragged pain of this performance was OK. I disagree, Cash had a vibrant moving style that that was deep and gravelly voice that could and did carry the melody faithfully and tell a story with energy and pathos. This was a very sad performance of a man I would rather remember in his prime not in decline at the end of his life. I miss Johnny Cash, but, I'll take a pass on this album. ...more info
- The Man Comes Around
I remember watching Johnny Cash when he had a TV show (hint of my age).
Never was a big fan when I was younger, but as I get older I appreciate his music so much more, this cd may not be his best vocally, but is so moving when listening to the words, it will bring a tear. I have never heard CD in my entire life that could bring on tears except for this one. Powerful, moving, haunting, god bless Mr. Cash, an American Legend.
Watch the video of Hurt, best Music Video ever made. Watching the Man's life go round in a couple of minutes, June Carter watching over him, to the last caress of his piano as the video ends is almost to gut wrenching to watch....more info
This is a review that I felt compelled to write since I saw the film "Walking the Line" starring Joaquin Pheonix as the man in black. I am heavy music fan, but country music doesn't really appeal to me. The only exception is this man. He is a genius. This album, his final opus, is one of the most interesting and melancholy of his efforts. My parents, both older and around during Cash's era, picked up this album the week it came out and bought a second copy for me, since I always liked his standards, "Walk the Line", "Ring of Fire", "Folsom Prison Blues", but my parents, both ex-folk singers, were blown away by this masterpiece.
Some of the songs are not his, some are. All are fantastic in their own way because they are performed with such razor sharp honesty and gutwrenching love. His renditions are so unique and sad because that's what he was, but really this album is his last take about life before death. These songs are carefully chosen because the man is coming to peace with his own death. He knew his time was coming and these songs are his way of expressing the human condition, "The Man Comes Around" - Revelations. "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" - A song for his beloved wife. "Sam Hall" - A middle finger to all those who hated him. "Personal Jesus" - A nod to his baptist roots and his own relationship with religion. "We'll Meet Again" - His final, loving wave goodbye to us all here on Earth. You can go through all of them and see their connection with his remarkable life. All of the songs are so deeply raw and sung with that tinge in his own inimitable way and with the sadness and urgency a person has when a final moment is at hand.
Here is a final performance, stripped down and brutally beautiful, of a weathered and long travelled man, full of feeling, mistakes and insight. He's not in his prime but it's okay. He's just himself, old, cool, grizzled and touching. He lived an extraordinary and full life, and influenced so many great artists, even Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. This is a must for any Cash fan but would be liked by many who only know "Ring of Fire". To those just reading reviews, take a chance on this one. It will definitely grow on you, like all of his other music. An instant classic. ...more info
- completely haunting and brilliant
I've just listened to this album for the very first time, and I felt strangely "small" and insignificant afterward. If God Himself ever produced a CD, I imagine it would sound very much like this. I actually quivered with joy after it was over, and of course - played it again 8 more times that day. It's just THAT good. Breathtaking, stunning, incredible....more info
- This is something else
I do not really even like country music but i always liked Johnny Cash. His style and way he did it just always stood out. You really have to give him credit for giving his all and even making this album in the first place especially in such poor health. I saw the video for Hurt one night and kept thinking about it it was stuck in my head I decided to look on this site to see if the whole album was as good. The next day I bought it and I am not the least bit disapointed You can just tell his sincerity. When you think about the fact that he died shortly after it really makes you think. Of course he doesnt have sound like he did when he was young but for a man over 70 he sounds very good. This is an album that anybody can appreciate even if you dont like the music and i think everybody should listen to it sometime because its just that good. I would rather listen to something like this than someone who has a beautiful voice but no real love for their music I think he knew he was going to die soon when he made this. Do yourself a favor and listen to this album and this is coming from a huge rap fan/artist
John R. Cash
Everyone you know comes back in the very end...more info
- As Good as It Gets
Why review this music when all the appropriate praise has already been offered? Because it is just that good. Because silence would be wrong. Because those who have given it anything less than five stars need to be outnumbered. Perhaps even sought out and questioned: what were you listening to? This is American music at its zenith. Simply presented. Pure emotion. Authentic. It is as good as it gets in this time, in this country. ...more info
- grasping at straws
A friend gave me this CD, raving about it. I really can't understand the hype attached to this album. The songs that aren't 'standards' are pretty good, though far from Cash's best, but the old chestnuts are almost unlistenable, for me at least. I'd have thought a dying man might find something new to squeeze out of Bridge Over Troubled Water, In My Life, Danny Boy, Desperado, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry and Streets of Laredo, something that would make these songs worth listening to for the nine-millionth time. Unfortunately he just sounds like an old man singing old chestnuts, they sound just as cliched as when any other artist performs these much-overplayed songwriting cliches.
I do like the production very much so am giving one star for Rick Rubin and one for JC out of respect....more info
- Johnny Having Fun
This was a pleasant surprise. Cash picked songs with lyrics that mirror his and made them his own....more info
- An exceptional work from an exceptional artist.
Cash's work here is brilliant. His voice now ragged and raw is the perfect instrument to convey the pure emotional impact of Cash's interpretations of these works. Rubin's spare production on these AMERICAN RECORDINGS has been inspired; he has created a perfect environment for Cash, allowing Cash the perfect setting for these last works, filled with fire and emotion. There are a number of outstanding choices here, from a "Bridge Over Troubled Water" that in Cash's hands becomes a promise of help, to "Hurt" with a different pain on display than the one Reznor originally supplied; a pain that only a full life filled with an understanding of regret can convey. There are so many highlights here from his angry killer spitting at life in "Sam Hill" to his reading of "Personal Jesus" with an honesty that contradicts any sense of irony that might be present in the original. Few artists have finished there careers with an epic work, (Zevon comes to mind)and Cash joins that chosen few. All the AMERICAN RECODINGS are worthwhile additions to your collection, but if I was going to pick one, this would be it....more info
- Sadness and pain that is absolutely palpable!
I remember hearing Johnny Cash's sad, aching voice often during my childhood but hadn't bothered to seek him out in my adult years. Until, while waiting for an appointment, I heard his remake of NIN's "I Hurt." I sat and listened to this painfully sad song while trying to remember its original incarnation as a Nine Inch Nails shoutfest. The two could not be compared!
After seeing "Man In Black" and singing along to most of the songs in the movie, I was inspired to purchase several Cash CD's including this one. I cannot even begin to articulate how incredibly moving it is. Although the man is a legend and has produced a mass of hits, this may well be his siren song; one that should rekindle that strange appreciation for a storyteller with a pain-filled voice that breaks your heart and brings a tear to your eye.
Every song surprises the listener with a newfound perspective! Classics that were accepted at face value suddenly begin to resonate with a proufound sadness that they'd only touched on when previously recorded by other artists.
The man in black pulled off a final coup immediately before his death by reminding the world that a beautiful and perfectly pitched voice is not required to produce something exceptional. The man himself was something exceptional....more info
- Farewell to an American Icon
This was the last album recorded by Johnny Cash. And in his farewell (I think he knew this would be the last time around) Cash reflects on his long and prodigious career with a satisfying album such as this one.
Johnny Cash is a member of the Million Dollar Quartet, that is a group of four entertainers including Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley who began recording on the Sun label in Memphis at the dawn of the Rock and Roll age. Cash the only one we have really had a chance to see age, and that's what endears him to so many people. You can listen to him age in voice, body, mind, and soul all the way from his early recordings like "Walk the Line," and "Folsom Prison Blues," to this album which includes CASH covers of "Hurt" among others. I don't know if Elvis could have maintained his longevity as well as Cash did, but I'm glad he was around to record this one....more info
- A great end to Johnny Cash's works
I don't often take the time to review an item but I had to do this in reverence to Johnn Cash. I often hear people saying that many try to cover songs and hope they meet or exceed the quality of the original but never do. Cash has never disappointed in making each song remarkable. This album is no exception.
The well traveled voice adds a depth and character that brings tears to my eyes during some songs. The last track "We'll meet again" is very fitting and a bit eerie listening to him give it his all to give us one last ablum. Thanks for leaving us with so much JC, we'll meet again....more info
- The Wisdom. The Pain.
Very impressive album; I won't say that all songs impressed me equally, but Hurt and We'll meet again would be enough to merit 5 stars. And then there's "The Man comes Around", one of the most powerful religious songs I have ever heard, equal to the most profound performances by Mahalia Jackson...
Cash sounds deep, wise and full of pain and these impressions will haunt you and make you want to repeat this CD over and over again (and make you repeat some of its moments in your head).... It hurts at times to listen American IV, but it is a noble sensation....more info
- Incredible raw , honest
This CD is incredible, raw, honest almost painful. It is listening to a master using his talent tempered by his experience. Amazing.
Earlier today I had listened to this album and watched the Hurt video. The country music profession should look at the Cash American Albums to learn their roots and where they have recently went wrong. Watched the AMA awards tonight, painful......more info
- The Man Comes Around
WOW!!! What a cd. Most cover CDs struggle for the artist to bring their own style to the music. This is not the case with Mr. Cash, each song is sung as though he owns it. It gives me chills to listen to his interpertation of some great songs. This is truly a work of art and I just wish there was a volume two to look forward to. ...more info
- Johnny Cash is classic.
I popped this CD in on the way to Vegas from Los Angeles in the middle of the night. Johnny's haunting voice came booming through the speakers like a soundtrack to the desert. Full of stories and vivid descriptions this CD cant be described as anything less than epic. Moving along like a Steam Train up hill the music gains momentum and impresses more with each bar sung. If youre looking for a little dark night, outlaw country Johnny Cash's American IV: The Man Comes Around is just what you need. ...more info
- "the man did it"
perhaps the best album i have ever heard. mr cash covering "hurt" may very well be the most haunting rendition of any song i have ever heard = buy it...more info
- This probably won't be an extremely popular review....but
Ok, I am by no means a country music fan and so this was a rare departure from my musical headtrip.(Check out my "How to..." list) I bought this album because Johnny Cash covered more than one artist I definately count as being top favorites. (Nine Inch Nails and The Beatles) The tipping point that actually made me buy the album, however, was the clip I heard of 'Personal Jesus'. Something about Cash's rendition was extremely appealing for some reason.
Now I listened to this album from beginning to end and there were some songs I definately loved and some I did not. I will not say this album is not one of the rawest pieces of music I have ever heard...because it is. However, that didn't necessarily translate into fully enjoying each song. Cash's cover of 'Hurt' is definately unique and definately doesn't lose any of the emotion present in the original. (Didn't like the lyric change, but anyway) However, Cash's cover of 'In My Life' was not something I enjoyed at all. John Lennon's version was just SO much better. My favorite song on the album had to be 'I Hung My Head'.
Overall, this album has some good songs and some not so good songs. So a 4 star rating is definately appropriate for this ALBUM (I'm rating the music, not the man)....more info
- Melancholic but beautiful
This guy with his voice and a guitar can do more that an overblown orchestration + hordes of extra musicians. I cannot pick up just one particular song. It's as difficult as picking up one chapter from your favourite book. Impossible. All of them create one long story. Magic,
beautiful ... what more to say....more info
- The Best To The End
There have been many "Icons" in American music. Performers who have become a "Symbolic" to a certain time or era. The problem is that most performers don't have the talent to live up to the hype of being a symbol.
Johnny Cash was one of the exceptions. On his last album "Ameican IV: The Man Comes Around", Johnny Cash shows that when facing the ultimate enevibility, one must face it with dignity, compassion, thruth, tears, and a bit of humor. If you don't own a Johnny Cash album, buy this one and get an idea of what every fan already knew. If you are a fan but don't have this album, buy it. If for nothing else, just to know the fact that when The Man Comes Around for the last time, He still had purpose....more info