American III: Solitary Man

  • Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Oct 17, 2000
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. The onus here lies on the production... Rick Rubin's work is too timid; mostly, the shy combos of guitar, fiddle and accordion, or Benmont Tench's subliminal contributions on keyboards, make up the kind of severe meal that one is forced to think of as "tasteful."
  2. Like Neil Young's Silver And Gold, it feels like a thematically empty, knockabout place-holder. American Recordings, one of Cash's towering classics, was all devotion and doubt, a brilliant, raw-boned meditation on redemption and death. A loose, flat set of odds and ends, Solitary Man is merely a minor but endearing record from a man who seems to know he's given more than enough.
  3. The results on "Solitary Man" are mixed, leaning at times to inadvertent novelty.
  4. I'm assuming the problems began when Rubin presented Cash with a cache of songs to choose from. From there, Rubin's production only makes a bad situation worse, putting Cash's dusty, reverbless voice -- which is beginning to show its frailties -- unnaturally in your face.... But if you can wade through the chaff, it's Cash's originals that save the disc.
  5. Like his two previous studio albums, Solitary Man is sparsely produced by Rick Rubin, and continues the themes of love, faith, and loneliness that their previous collaborations have chillingly embraced.
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Jul 26, 2012
    8
    Outside of Johnny Cash, I'm not really into Country Music , but I think he transcends the genre. His "American" project is a good test of theOutside of Johnny Cash, I'm not really into Country Music , but I think he transcends the genre. His "American" project is a good test of the concept "Is it the song or the singer?". The argument being if a song is a classic, it's very hard to mess it up. Cash can never be accused of messing these up. In fact it could be argued he brings the quality some of these songs into sharp focus with stripped down versions, with all studio trickery and effects stripped away, often all your left with are the lyrics and the chords. Although I prefer American IV, American III is quite good overall. There are a few questionable inclusions here but the high points on this record are in my view, up with the high points of his career. His version of U2's "One" and Nick Caves "The Mercy Seat" are sublime. Full Review »
  2. Sep 19, 2011
    10
    An 8.3? An 8.3!? You'd think that Johnny Cash doing us a service by playing more of his music in his condition would merit some goddamnAn 8.3? An 8.3!? You'd think that Johnny Cash doing us a service by playing more of his music in his condition would merit some goddamn appreciation. Instead, all I see is a disappointing, suburban, uptight, **** of a douche score. Full Review »
  3. CabeM
    Jan 20, 2006
    10
    Johnny to me will always be my favorite country artist simply because of masterpieces like this. Hands down i give it a ten!