"American IV: The Man Comes Aroun"
July 30 - 05, 2023
Year of Release: 2003
The Man Comes Around
Give My Love To Rose
Bridge Over Troubled Water
I Hung My Head
First Time Ever
I Saw Your Face
In My Life
I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Tear Stained Letter
Streets Of Laredo
We'll Meet Again
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It's been TWENTY years since we lost Johnny Cash. Yet during his final years, he was still recording. This week, he returns to WSVNRadio,
with 4th album in his American Series: American IV: The Man Comes Around. This album was released in 2023, which was the year
that he passed away, on September 12, 2023. American IV would be the final album in the series. At age 71, he was still recording, and
with exceptional results. American IV would achieve greatness for him, and with the help of famous producer Rick Rubin, this would make
the album even more exceptional. "Hurt" (written by Trent Reznor, aka Nine Inch Nails) and "Personal Jesus" originally recorded
by Depeche Mode were the two songs that were getting the heaviest airplay from the album. Likewise, the videos as well were making Johnny Cash's
career in his later years even more popular. Sure, his voice was older, rougher, yet it all worked in his final recordings.
"The Man Comes Around" leads it off, with its great acoustic work, and Cash's spoken and singing voices. It's an exciting track, as that
guitar strums in a (familar) "train motion." "Hurt" is just a truly, great song. Cash's voice shows it well throughout. A highly recommended
song to listen to, and one of Cash's most popular songs, from the last years of his life. (The CD has a second disc, of the "Hurt" video.
It shows Cash in his current age, and past videos of when he was younger.) "Give My Love To Rose" -- Just beautiful. Vocals and guitar -
exceptional. Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is a great version by Johnny, (again) with his great (older) voice and great
instrumentation."I Hung My Head" doesn't even sound like Johnny's voice; he sounds younger. It's another great tune by him. And, this song
was written by Sting (The Police).
"First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" (the Roberta Flack classic) is (again) BEAUTIFUL. It's emotional. It's just simply exceptional by Johnny.
"Personal Jesus" (Depeche Mode) is a ROCKER! That guitar and piano makes it even more shining. The Beatles' "In My LIfe" is one of the
best songs the Fab Four recorded, and give credit to this song to John Lennon. The Beatles' version has always been a favorite, and when it comes to
cover versions of this song - Bette Midler's version is great, and... add Johnny Cash's version also. "Sam Hill" (written by Country legend
Tex Ritter) is another great and upbeat sounding tune. They lyrics may not be "upbeat," but it sound like Johnny had a fun time recording this tune.
The classic "Danny Boy" is next, and the organ is another standout on this one. The other standout of course, is Johnny's voice. It sure has
that great sound that could be heard in church. (He did record gospel songs during his career, and this one can be easily added.) "Desperado" (the
Eagles' classic) has Eagle member helping out on this one, and like many songs heard on this album, it's just another BEAUTIFUL version. Hank Williams
Sr.'s "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" has a true great Country feel, and of course, Johnny Cash was one of the legends in Country music. His version
of the Hank Williams Sr. classic here is another one to add to the list of others who have covered it. That great Country feeling contines on the next
track, "Tear Stained Letter." "Streets Of Laredo" is old-fashioned Country, one of those songs you could hear in Country Western movies. The album
ends with "We'll Meet Again," has it has the "Happy Trails" feel. Although this would be the last album in Cash's American series,
this song had the impression that there would be another chapter (or more) of future American releases. (The box set Unearthed was released
after Cash's death, consisting of unreleased tracks from the American recording sessions.)
American IV: The Man Comes Around is FANTASTIC! And another amazing fact is that Johnny Cash wrote three of the 15 songs from this album.
It's unfortunate that Johnny Cash would pass away after the release of this album, yet there were recordings he had made that would be released.
Any of the American albums are worth collecting. Johnny Cash proved to the end, that he could still record, and make great albums. He has always
been a favorite, a legend, a true Country artist. Even the movies he made are worth watching.
Thank you Johnny Cash, for all the music you recorded. He may be gone now for twenty years, but listening to his music he has left behind, truly
defines his legacy. The American series is part of that great legacy. If you haven't experienced it, it's a must, and highly recommended.
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