Customer Reviews for

American V: A Hundred Highways

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Swan song for John

    These songs were recorded near the end of John's life. His voice is often weak and faltering but that somehow makes these performances even more profound. All of his American label albums are worth owning. This one has the great song: "God's Gonna Cut You Down" which is worth the price all by itself. If you're new to the works of Johnny Cash I recommend you start with the great Bear Family box sets, but you will eventually work your way to this album. Mr. Cash is greatly missed, but his influence on the music of the United States (and elsewhere) is incredibly strong even today,

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Cash will be missed

    Voice is aging but great interpretations of these songs. Very Good interpretation of "God's Gonna Cut You Down." Good overdubbing by Rick Rubin. Rubin proves himself to be a top notch producer with this record. He should be in the Rock Hall of Fame as a producer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Man Near Death

    Johnny Cash is what Bobby Dylan called the "Norhtern Lights" of American song and I think he will be respected by everybody from all genres or at least should be. Literally, this a man on the edge--near death--and he is staring it in the face with songs like "Love Has Been Good To Me" and the metaphysical "I Came to Believe." Johnny Cash is clearly in pain but contented in peace, ready to go into "that good night" of death. We should be humbled by that. R.I.P. Johnny Cash.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A pained but generous farewell

    It's surprising to me that "American V: A Hundred Highways" debuted at the top of the Billboard pop album charts, despite the fact that in some circles this disc had been eagerly anticipated since Johnny Cash's death in 2003. This is not an easy, superficial listen. The record is downbeat musically, with spare, elegiac arrangements--the fire-and-brimstone "God's Gonna Cut You Down" is about as rousing as this disc gets. The effects of age and illness on Cash's body and his voice are painfully obvious in some tracks. Then there's the CD's underlying theme, which emerges as a subtext even if it's not stated explicitly: reaching the end of the line, alone (Cash lost his beloved June shortly before he taped these songs), knowing that you're powerless to duck your mortality, and finding the grace to accept the inevitable and prepare to meet your Maker. It's somber stuff, and poignant--but thanks to the singer's dignity and generosity, it never feels either morbid or maudlin. In fact, it feels more like an example for the rest of us to follow when the time comes. I give this five stars not for technical perfection--Cash was never a polished vocalist, even at his peak--but for the depth of honesty and communication the Man in Black attained here, helped considerably by producer Rick Rubin (who showed a master's hand in choosing the dozen tracks here out of the 50 or so he and Cash recorded in the singer's last few months). Sad to say, there's very little music-making that's this real anymore.

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