American IV: The Man Comes Around

User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 44
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 44
  3. Negative: 2 out of 44

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  1. CurtH
    May 10, 2003
    0
    This album makes my skin crawl! Our local public radio station, WDET, played it from start to finish. I listened in utter amazement that something so horrible would be played on such a normally intuitive radio station. I see, I am in the minority here, but listen to the album! I subject my wife to a lot of hard-to-warm-up-to musicians, Dylan, Chris Smither, Lead Belly, Tom Waits, etc, but This album makes my skin crawl! Our local public radio station, WDET, played it from start to finish. I listened in utter amazement that something so horrible would be played on such a normally intuitive radio station. I see, I am in the minority here, but listen to the album! I subject my wife to a lot of hard-to-warm-up-to musicians, Dylan, Chris Smither, Lead Belly, Tom Waits, etc, but even I cannot swallow this! Ugh! Expand
  2. JohnW.
    Jan 8, 2005
    10
    A lot of the "professional" reviewers don't understand the song selections. All you have to do is look at where he was in life when he did the album; his wife had recently passed, he was near the end of an extended illness, and it all makes sense, at least to me. He is singing to/for his wife, for himself, for others he misses and perhaps expects to meet again quite soon. This is the A lot of the "professional" reviewers don't understand the song selections. All you have to do is look at where he was in life when he did the album; his wife had recently passed, he was near the end of an extended illness, and it all makes sense, at least to me. He is singing to/for his wife, for himself, for others he misses and perhaps expects to meet again quite soon. This is the only album of his where I truly enjoy and am moved by each and every song. Expand
  3. DylanB.
    Apr 4, 2008
    10
    Beautiful. One of the best albums I have ever bought.
  4. RKerrigan
    Nov 6, 2002
    10
    "The Man Comes Around" and "Hurt" scared the daylights out of me!
  5. MackB
    Nov 20, 2002
    7
    Great voice, great musicians, very very odd song selection. Yes, it's The Man, but does anybody really want to hear Bridge Over Troubled Water again? However, Personal Jesus absolutely rules.
  6. DanielH
    Nov 6, 2002
    10
    Johnny Cash has truly "blossomed" at age 70 with his albums from American Recordings. It makes me wonder what could've been possible had Rick Rubin been born 50 years earlier or Cash was 50 years younger. American III and American IV are his finest masterpieces to date.
  7. EucciB
    Nov 6, 2002
    9
    For me, this album is made great by its bookends - "The Man Comes Around" original Cash opener, and "We'll Meet Again" as the closer. Also enjoyable are "Streets of Laredo", "Desperado", and "Sam Hall". On first listens to this disk, I've tended to jump from track 1 to track 9, bypassing some of the more well known covers which - for the most part - are decently done. But For me, this album is made great by its bookends - "The Man Comes Around" original Cash opener, and "We'll Meet Again" as the closer. Also enjoyable are "Streets of Laredo", "Desperado", and "Sam Hall". On first listens to this disk, I've tended to jump from track 1 to track 9, bypassing some of the more well known covers which - for the most part - are decently done. But it's as we hit "Sam Hall" and "Danny Boy" that the album really comes back to Cash territory. Expand
  8. KirstenR
    Nov 6, 2002
    10
    only cash can do it
  9. MikeS
    Dec 2, 2002
    10
    The title track is all you need
  10. morkMork
    Jun 9, 2004
    10
    It wAs AWESOME!!!!!!!!!
  11. PG
    Nov 8, 2005
    10
    Very powerful. Hurt is just fantastic. I don't understand some of the negative professional reviews. My family just died. The last few years visting in the nursing home were brutal. I think this album is as truthful as it gets.
  12. BrianC
    Mar 29, 2006
    9
    From electrified to devestated to heartsick to tearstained, this album took me on a tour through my heart down the path less taken. I still come out of it crying, often without making it all the way through the album. The first time I encountered his cover- i was speechless, on the floor, in tears. The spirit of the original song became a counterpoint to a different side of my heart, and From electrified to devestated to heartsick to tearstained, this album took me on a tour through my heart down the path less taken. I still come out of it crying, often without making it all the way through the album. The first time I encountered his cover- i was speechless, on the floor, in tears. The spirit of the original song became a counterpoint to a different side of my heart, and connected two different feelings. Though not the most artfully constructed album i have experienced, it remains a powerful work that moves me with terrible ease. That makes it great in my book. Expand
  13. aurelios
    Nov 14, 2002
    10
    great album!!!! as good as american III and that´s a lot .I can´t understand bad critics, versions are as good as always but originals are better....
  14. TomB
    Nov 5, 2002
    10
    Cash shows how life is rock n roll is country is folk. He was there in the beginning and continues to give meaning to the stuff he invented.
  15. MartinJ
    Nov 6, 2002
    9
    For me as a radio-DJ. this IVth ,i hope, will not be the last, HE shows all those dudes how to survive, well done, John!!
  16. MikeM
    Dec 17, 2002
    9
    When The Man Comes around has become an instant Cash classic! Name another 70 year old artist-icon that can pull off an effort like this!
  17. Cheryl
    Feb 12, 2003
    10
    Once again Johnny Cash proves that he can do no wrong musically. My favorite track on the CD is "Hurt". I thought it was powerful done by NIN, but Johnny Cash packs a lifetime of pain into the few minutes of this song - haunting and amazing!
  18. NeshaB
    Jun 15, 2003
    10
    This album transcends nearly everything in todays music, it is deep and profound as much as Lou Reed will be in 10 years.
  19. SheldonC
    Jun 28, 2003
    10
    I was skeptical when I saw all the covers done on this album! Once again MR. CASH pulls off the impossible !! The music world will miss him greatly when he is gone !!!
  20. BarneyR
    Nov 22, 2005
    10
    This is a beautiful and gripping album from start to finish. This turned out to be Johnny Cash's last and appropriately enough it's an introspective look back at his life and the end of the trail ahead.
  21. brent
    Feb 26, 2006
    10
    I'm 40. The 70's raw reckless experimentalism is dead. The wonderful 80's started a new path of sound but was ultimately killed by its record companies and resultant overkill redundancies. The ninieties stood as 10 long years of everything-you've-heard-before-rehashed and a decade of music that will be forgotten forever. This decade will be known as the one true decade I'm 40. The 70's raw reckless experimentalism is dead. The wonderful 80's started a new path of sound but was ultimately killed by its record companies and resultant overkill redundancies. The ninieties stood as 10 long years of everything-you've-heard-before-rehashed and a decade of music that will be forgotten forever. This decade will be known as the one true decade of musical fusion. To wit: You get these really old crazy bastards who did their own thing year in and year out, regardless if they were fat or starving depending on the market. They just didn't care. They just wanted the hard career road of doing what they pleased. The ultimate F-You. Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and especially Lou Reed..but before you can count out the 4th commercial-free iconoclast, here comes Johnny Cash. He dropped off the radar before Rick Rubin groveled at him in '93. We are all lucky Rubin did. Who would of thought that Rubin's proposition to Cash would change everything? "I want to sign you to my label. You can sing anything you want, just you and your guitar." Good, God. And you are the luckiest man in the universe to have a monster like Cash look at you and say, "OK." American IV is a knowing swan song. Is every song about The End? Yes. He knew it. He burned a decade with Rubin showing he was the badass of badasses, but with IV, he sang it like it was his last. He said so in the liner notes. People will go on and on about the devastating version of a the devastating NIN song "Hurt," but for me the THINGS I KEEP COMING BACK TO ARE: Sting's straightforward "I Hung My Head," Cash's "The Man Comes Around," Cash' "Sam Hall, the Eagle's "Desperado", and the beautiful treatment of tear-jerker "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." I grew up with a dad and mom who loved Elvis, Neil Diamond, Waylon, Willie, and Johnny Cash. I did not get reintroduced 'til "Delia's Gone." in '93. I used to laugh uncomfortably when my uncle---a die hard Johnny fan--would say "a Dylan song? You're full of shit, Brent. That's a Johnny song." Now I understand. Expand
  22. DeeC
    Mar 15, 2006
    10
    It moves me...it touches my heart like poetry...Although a fan of his Sun Record material, this in some ways seems a more important work. Thanks to Rick Rubin for taking a chance him.
  23. [Anonymous]
    Nov 23, 2002
    9
    Being a Johnny Cash fan and and a Nine Inch Nails fan, Hurt was the standout track for me, but the whole album, especially the title track, is pure platinum Cash.
  24. Jul 27, 2012
    9
    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 allJohnny 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
Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 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.
  2. Uncut
    80
    May be the most consistent of the four albums to date. [Jan 2003, p.122]
  3. Blender
    60
    His blunt, hauntingly direct performances open up new perspectives on a song. [#11, p.133]