American IV: The Man Comes Around [Bonus DVD]

( 11 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Inspired by a dream of Queen Elizabeth II and verses from the Book of Revelations, Johnny Cash's "When the Man Comes Around" embodies everything that's great about the Man in Black, from the authority he brings to his recitations to the vibrancy of the writing to the anxiety-ridden Judgment Day atmosphere evoked by an insistently strummed acoustic guitar and a gospel piano. It's the second great new song Cash has introduced this year, following "Tears on the Holston River," from Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. III, and it's hands-down the highlight of American IV, the latest in Cash's collaborations with producer Rick Rubin. But there are a lot of close seconds here, ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Inspired by a dream of Queen Elizabeth II and verses from the Book of Revelations, Johnny Cash's "When the Man Comes Around" embodies everything that's great about the Man in Black, from the authority he brings to his recitations to the vibrancy of the writing to the anxiety-ridden Judgment Day atmosphere evoked by an insistently strummed acoustic guitar and a gospel piano. It's the second great new song Cash has introduced this year, following "Tears on the Holston River," from Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Vol. III, and it's hands-down the highlight of American IV, the latest in Cash's collaborations with producer Rick Rubin. But there are a lot of close seconds here, including Cash canon favorites such as "Give My Love to Rose" -- reprised as a dirge, the mise en scène set by a flat-picked acoustic guitar and a wall of moody chords, courtesy of Benmont Tench on harmonium -- and "Sam Hall," which he originally recorded for 1965's grand Sings the Ballads of the True West, in which the title character gleefully recounts the events leading up to his hanging for murder "I'll see you all in hell/damn your eyes!". Not surprisingly, murder, redemption, and the Old West figure prominently throughout, in Cash's own songs and in some interesting covers, such as Sting's "I Hung My Head," a murderer's repentance on the day of his hanging, and the Eagles' well-thumbed "Desperado," with Don Henley adding a guest vocal. With keyboardist Tench augmenting the acoustic lineup, there's hardly a moment that isn't captivating in mood alone, whether it's the slow-building crescendo mounting behind Cash's bleak reading of Trent "Nine Inch Nails" Reznor's "Hurt" or the plaintive organ lines providing the sole support to a forthright take on "Danny Boy." Fiona Apple adds an expressive vocal to Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge over Troubled Water," Nick Cave wobbles through Hank Williams's "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," and a mess of folks billed as "The Whole Cash Gang" sign off the album with a touching, folk-flavored rendition of the poignant pop classic "We'll Meet Again." All that's left to say is, I hope so.
All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Johnny Cash's fourth project with producer Rick Rubin continues on the same path as many of their previous releases: Cash's warm and rumbling baritone over minimal production and gentle duets with some surprising guests. One of the things that sets American IV: The Man Comes Around apart from the others is Cash's song selections. The success he experienced with his previous interpretations of contemporary songwriters Soundgarden's "Rusty Cage," Nick Cave's "The Mercy Seat" is applied to this album with varying degrees of success. His throaty reading of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" easily fits into his "Man in Black" persona, and the spiritual conviction underlying Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" is certainly powerful. Unfortunately, the inclusion of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" featuring a lost-sounding Fiona Apple and a passionless snooze through the Beatles' "In My Life" should have been so much stronger given the subject matter of both songs and Cash's prolific life story. One of the reasons his previous covers were so successful is that in the past he had chosen some pretty obscure songs Bonnie Prince Billy's "I See a Darkness" and Beck's "Rowboat," to name a couple and reinterpreted them with his unique perspective and unmistakable voice. However, there is really no need to hear his versions of the Irish standard "Danny Boy" or the clunky rendition of Sting's "I Hung My Head," since something about them just doesn't fit -- either Cash wasn't entirely comfortable with the song or the performance was never fully realized. Luckily, the new songs Cash wrote for the album are pretty strong, and his cover of the standard "We'll Meet Again" is among the best versions of the song ever recorded. It is a relief to hear that, although Cash's voice is clearly older and not the booming powerhouse it was in the earlier Sun and Columbia days, he's still got some punch left in him, and the wisdom he's gained in his later life seeps through between the grooves, revealing a man who has lived through it all and lived to tell the tale. [American IV was also released with a bonus DVD featuring the award-winning video for "Hurt."]
Entertainment Weekly - Holly George-Warren
Cash has once again... written an apocalyptic title track and put his stamp on an eclectic batch of material. (A-)

Cash has once again... written an apocalyptic title track and put his stamp on an eclectic batch of material. (A-)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/4/2003
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • UPC: 044007708309
  • Catalog Number: 077083
  • Sales rank: 8,594

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Johnny Cash Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Marty Stuart Acoustic Guitar
Nick Cave Vocals
Don Henley Vocals
Mike Campbell Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Benmont Tench Organ, Piano, Harmonium, Mellotron, Vibes, Pipe organ, Wurlitzer
Thom Bresh Acoustic Guitar
Jack Clement Dobro
David Ferguson Ukulele
John Frusciante Acoustic Guitar
Terry Harrington Clarinet
Randy Scruggs Acoustic Guitar
Smokey Hormel Acoustic Guitar, Slide Guitar
Kerry Marx Acoustic Guitar
Joey Waronker Drums
Fiona Apple Vocals
Roger Manning Piano, Harmonium, Mellotron, chamberlain, Orchestra Bells, Tack Piano
John Carter Cash Vocals
Laura Cash Fiddle, Vocals
Jeff Hannah Acoustic Guitar
Technical Credits
Johnny Cash Liner Notes
Richard Thompson Composer
David Ferguson Engineer
Rick Rubin Producer
Thom Russo Engineer
Christine Cano Art Direction
Andrew Scheps Engineer
John Carter Cash Engineer
Chuck Turner Engineer
Traditional Composer
Vlado Meller Mastering
Ross Parker Composer
Frederick Edward Weatherly Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    American IV the man comes around

    Though not what one expects, it has the inner feelings I believe everyone has and sometimes choice to ignore.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Johnny Cash American IV

    I liked this CD, it had a wonderful variety of songs delivered only as Johnny Cash could deliver them. I loved the version of Hurt and the video almost brought me to tears as I reflected over my own experiences. Sam Hall had to be one of my favorites as classic Johnny Cash attitude. I strongly recommend this album to your collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    American IV solidifies Cash as a true American legend

    Demonstrating all of Cash's creative genius, American IV is a collection of mesmerizing songs. The warmth of his voice and the diversity of the songs make this one of my all-time favorite albums.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Man to the end..

    From the first time I heard "Hurt", I knew this was his last album. After finally getting to hear the whole album, it just confirmed what I felt then. This whole album is him saying goodbye. His voice, though commanding, is much thinner than I ever remember. Even so, this is a compelling compilation. I believe Tom Petty once said that after Johnny Cash sings one of your songs, it's now his. You just happened to write it for him. This album is further confirmation of that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Going out on top

    This is the last album Mr.cash released during his lifetime.And it is one of his best efforts ever.This album has songs that Mr.Cash had always wanted to do and also some of his own material redone.The result is stunning.His voice ,though hammered by age and illness,still has that underlying granite baritone that is known the world over.On this album he does songs from everybody from the Beatles to Trent Reznor.Reznor's "Hurt" was,of course,the one song,along with the stunning video,that caught everyones attention and catupulted this album to a very special place in the hearts of Cash fans. Proving that ,unlike Sinatra or Elvis,Johnny Cash stayed vital and cutting edge right up to the end of his recording career ,this album won for Mr. Cash---album of the year,single of the year and "Hurt" won video of the year.The sad thing is we all wonder what he would have done next had he not succumb to one of his many ailments. In this album Mr.Cash puts to shame all of the junk that is being sold today as country music.Get a copy of "The Man comes Around" and listen to the soul of Johnny Cash.The 71 year old sick and weak John R. Cash shows the pretenders how its done.This album will simply stun you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a true man

    he loved june carter till the day she died. they're happy now and their music will live on and on. when i first heard "ring of fire", i liked to think he wrote it for june, but came to realise it was about all women. and men.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Great Album by an American Icon

    If you like Johnny Cash, you are going to love this album. I first heard it over at a friend's house and bought it the next day. I particularly enjoyed his choice of songs to remake. Terrific album!!

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    Posted April 30, 2009

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    Posted June 15, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2009

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews