American IV: The Man Comes Around Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 38 Ratings

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  • Summary: Johnny Cash, still going strong at age 70, returns for a fourth album with producer Rick Rubin. Like the previous three pairings, this disc mixes Cash originals with unlikely covers, which this time out include Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus," Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt," and Simon & Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Fiona Apple, Nick Cave, and Don Henley are among the guests. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. The selection here is at once so obvious and so inappropriate it feels redemptive.
  2. 90
    If this is to be Cash's last album, then what a magnificent way he has chosen to say goodbye. [Album of the Month, Dec 2002, p.100]
  3. Often thrilling, sometimes just interesting.
  4. Cash might surprise with his choice of covers, but in nearly all of his selections, he locates some personal meaning, or introduces new emotional elements.
  5. Cash's renditions are often breathtaking in their simplicity, but rarely do they justify their presence among a dozen other similarly afflicted songs.
  6. Cover versions that once seemed inspired now feel somewhat obligatory.
  7. His song selection has rarely made less sense.

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 24
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 24
  3. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. Jul 27, 2012
    Johnny Cashes "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 up the songs he covers here and as I said about American III, it could be argued he brings the sheer quality of 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. American IV is my personal favourite of the series with almost every track warranting it's place on the record. The inclusion of "Hurt" and "I Hung My Head" give the record an extra dose of class but this really works as an overall album. Probably the best country album I've heard. Expand

See all 24 User Reviews