Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Virtually every song sounds like a leave-taking, though the overall mood is reflective and restrained, in places almost easy-going.
  2. It could be the soundtrack to death, love, pain, strength, joy, suffering, courage, despair, and faith all at the same time.
  3. As with his last couple of releases in the American series, his voice no longer commands attention with booming authority, but there's something about that gasping frailty that makes this proud final bow even more endearing.
  4. 93
    A hefty team was assembled to do this right... and do it right they do. [#21, p.93]
  5. If this is, as Rubin has said, ''Johnny's final statement''... then it is a fitting one, completely representative of the faithful old man he had become, having long ago shed his outlaw image no matter how often others tried to resaddle him with it.
  6. Thank you very much, Mr Rubin--The Man In Black is still with us. [1 Jul 2006, p.36]
  7. From beginning to end, it's as heartwarming and heartbreaking an album as you're likely to hear this year. [Aug 2006, p.86]
  8. V... is actually less tearjerking and portentous than IV.
  9. It is put together with a huge degree of dignity and respect that makes it the perfect swansong for the Man In Black.
  10. It's a hard record to bear, but it's a deep one.
  11. Listening to this album, one can't get around the knowledge that it is a posthumous collection made in Cash's last days, but even without that context, it would have much the same impact.
  12. It makes a dignified final addition to the American Recordings series. [Aug 2006, p.109]
  13. 80
    Unsurprisingly, American V is the most desolate of the series, bereft of the moments of playfulness that leavened its predecessors. [Aug 2006, p.92]
  14. 80
    Though his delivery veers between strength and frailty, he's in full control. [Aug 2006, p.83]
  15. It's a satisfying and often moving final chapter to Cash's life and career, one that rejects self-pity and remorse in favor of hopefulness and even celebration.
  16. You never heard a sadder album than American V.
  17. If the force-of-nature power of his prime is often missing, in its place is an undeniable resolve and faith in his mission. [25 Jun 2006]
  18. It’s a pleasant collection, comfortably consolidated and comfortably nice, despite the lack of anything earth-shattering.
  19. The songs have a measured, elegiac intensity, the sound of musicians choosing their notes carefully and making just the right choices.
  20. 70
    Some selections are heartwrenching... But others bear the stain of sentimentality, denial, even exploitation. [Jul 2006, p.98]
  21. If A Hundred Highways had kicked off Cash’s American resurgence, it might have been greeted as a minor release, a nice offering by an artist who was in his sunset years.
  22. Perhaps the most intimate of an intimate series.
  23. The music isn't afraid to call for tears, but it does so through understatement. Cash's voice is always exposed, whether it's full-toned or faltering, and most of the tracks are folky and reverent, placing measured finger-picking above churchy chords.
  24. This is not a 'commercial' release, at least not in the commonly construed meaning of the word. If you had to be picky, you could say that nothing has the impact of that cover of Nine Inch Nail's "Hurt" or Nick Lowe's "The Beast In Me". But that's beside the point.
  25. 70
    The dignity and sharp poetic instincts on American V are all classic Cash. [Aug 2006, p.89]
  26. No one expects an album full of songs about death to be fun, but overall this set feels more ponderous than it should.
  27. This set of songs comes with a chill of morbidity that's hard to shake.
  28. Highways is a far cry from what made this now deceased legend eternal. [#14]
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 16
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 16
  3. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Jul 31, 2012
    8
    Probably the most mellow and gentle of the American Recordings albums. I always got a feel of defiance from volumes III and IV but on V it'sProbably the most mellow and gentle of the American Recordings albums. I always got a feel of defiance from volumes III and IV but on V it's almost as if the man in black is resigned to his fate as this point. The fire is almost doused here. This style suits the songs picked for this record - a lot of them have a very delicate feel to them, mirroring the state of the singers health at this point. Free from the chain gang now.... another fine piece of work that fits in well with his American series and a suitable farewell from a legend. Full Review »
  2. DecepticonPom
    Dec 13, 2006
    9
    Unlike most of what I normally listen to, but this sent chills through me from the first play. The truly stunning sound of a man accepting of Unlike most of what I normally listen to, but this sent chills through me from the first play. The truly stunning sound of a man accepting of his own death. The Man In Black would have loved this album if he heard it recorded by another artist. Full Review »
  3. MerleH
    Oct 3, 2006
    10
    John an I have been good friends since the mid 70's. This man is real. I feel as though i have had a priveledge knowing him and loving John an I have been good friends since the mid 70's. This man is real. I feel as though i have had a priveledge knowing him and loving him. we love you, John. the Hag Full Review »