Johnny Cash - American IV: The Man Comes Around (Cover Artwork)

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash: American IV: The Man Comes AroundAmerican IV: The Man Comes Around (2002)
American Recordings

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: RipperWalkRipperWalk
(others by this writer | submit your own)


Johnny Cash once had his truck catch on fire and burn down half of a national forest, and when the judge asked him why he did it, Johnny simply said, "I didn't do it, my truck did ‚?? and it's dead."

America is coming up on fifty years of Johnny Cash's music. Since 1955, Johnny has made fans of country turn to rock n roll, and fans of rock turn to country. Inspiring everyone from Social Distortion to Glenn Danzig, Johnny seems to appeal to everyone.

This past year produced yet another album from the Man in Black, "The Man Comes Around," which features Johnny originals, as well as numerous covers from Nine Inch Nails to Simon and Garfunkle. The man who was third in nominations at the MTV Music Awards trailing only Justin Timberlake and Missy Elliot, is still doing his thing, and he's still got it.

The album opens with a Johnny original, which he writes about in the liner notes of the album. A song inspired mostly my God and his wife, who recently passed away after 35 years of marriage. Johnny wrote over dozens of lyrics to this song and has to painstakingly drop everything down to just over four minutes. A beautiful song to start the beginning of a beautiful album.

Johnny covers the Nine Inch Nails song, "Hurt" on the album's second track. One of the saddest songs probably ever recorded, and rumor has it that when Trent Reznor heard the song for the first time, he had to leave the room and couldn't stop crying. A song about drugs and about loss, all this coming from a man who has experienced it all and still hurts at the age of 71. Johnny can do an awful lot with an acoustic guitar.

Now my favorite track, "Give my Love to Rose." Johnny, who is known for his amazing storytelling abilities, wrote possibly one of his saddest and sweetest stories yet on track number three. The story of a man who left prison and was trying to get back home to his wife and son, but fell sick and dying near the train tracks. Johnny stumbles onto the dying man as the man expresses to Johnny how much his wants to see his wife and son and how they need to keep on living and he is proud and he will always love them. Some say sunsets are gorgeous, but this beats any sunset ever created. Johnny can even top mother nature.

"Bridge Over Troubled Water" is the next track and is done wonderfully. Johnny is accompanied by Fiona Apple during the chorus, and for some reason it seems to work nicely. This song feels like it was always meant to be sung my Johnny, so I am glad he finally sings it.

Johnny even sings a song by Sting. "I Hung my Head," another great story about death and sadness, made even more sad by Johnny's voice. Whether or not Johnny actually has experienced the specific things that he sings about, you can't help but feel the passion and hurt in his voice and music.

Johnny perks and spices things up a bit with his cover of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus." Another nod to religion, which has played a huge part of Johnny's life, a very bluesy tribute to anything that deserves it. Again, another song that seems to fit Johnny perfectly, like he should of sang it years ago.

"Sam Hall," my other favorite track. "My name it is Sam Hall, and I hate you one and all!" Perhaps the song that best shows Johnny's energy back in the sixties when he was selling more records than the Beatles. Reminiscent of "Boy Named Sue."

And once again Johnny records the Hank Williams tune, "I'm so Lonesome I Could Cry." Johnny recorded this song years ago, and this version could be even better because it features a guest appearance by Nick Cave. The duet between Johnny and Nick towards the end of the song closely resembles perfection. Slightly incredible.

The album's final track features a great chorus featuring the whole Cash gang, which almost feels like it came out of some Disney movie. Perhaps it did, and I am unaware. "We'll Meet Again." With the whole album having a dark appearance, this is a great ending to a great album. The saddest and happiest album conceivably ever imagined. Johnny has done it again, and he will never stop, and for that we should all be thankful.

"We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when, but we will meet again, some sunny day."

Thanks Johnny.


People who liked this also liked:
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
taxidermy (June 24, 2007)

i own cd's that i never finished because they bored me so badly they didn't make it past the first spin. this cd on the other hand has been in my regular rotation for years now. i'm glad to see that johnny can still get some due respect even on a website that's primary focus isn't really this type of music. but go a little further back on the misfits' or the clash's musical family tree and you'll find johnny cash.


consolationprizefighter (December 11, 2006)

I just picked this up recently, and is without a doubt one of, if not the most beautiful album I own. Johnny Cash stripped down like this is incredible. If you're a fan of just music in general you should own this.

RBD-biatchh (July 1, 2006)

it's weird, and i dont know why, but, i actually really love his music!

chunk_rock (June 28, 2006)

This album gets better everytime I listen to it.

Anonymous (June 7, 2006)

Rest In Piece.

loggerhd (October 17, 2004)

kick ass album!

Anonymous (September 29, 2003)

Don't complain about the timing of the review. Maybe you should have written it at a better time, rather than complaining when a review is finally written.

Anonymous (September 29, 2003)

In fact, this review is so overdue, that Cash won a Grammy for "Give My Love to Rose" off this album at the LAST Grammy's.


Anonymous (September 29, 2003)

This review is only about 1 year too late.

This album came out in like October of last year... where you guys been?

And in all fairness to Johnny... this album wasn't as good as the rest of the American Recordings series. Yes, there are some good songs on it, but overall it's some songs he had already recorded, just re-did them, and honestly, do you listen to all the tracks everytime you listen to it? I know I don't, and I love Cash. But I'll sit down with the Essential Cash and listen to both discs in a row. this album isn't like that.


His cover of Rusty Cage is better than Hurt.

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

Yeah, this is definitely nothing compared to his late 60s and early 70s stuff... As much as I like the ocassional cover or two, "Hurt" was the only one that stuck in my mind, while the rest I just forgot...


Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

I don't really care how many people jump on the Johnny Cash bandwagon. The more people listening to the man in black's music, the better.
Great cd, but a little overrated because of his death I think. (Not neccasarily by the reviewer, but by people in general)


Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

I think you proved your intelligence with your that last comment. Thanks for doing it for us.

Anonymous (September 25, 2003)

"Bridge Over Troubled Waters"

"This song feels like it was always meant to be sung by Johnny."

Um...no. Simon & Garfunkel did it just fine the first time, thanks.

No cover song has ever been better than the original. Writing a song worthy of being covered is always greater than covering a song worth being covered. That's why no cover of any song has ever been better than the original.

Oh yea, Johnny Cash sucks cocks in hell.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

He will be fucking missed.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

none of you emo fuckers know about the man in black. You guys are pathetic.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

"cash-core"... someone in a sub-par wanna-be punk suburban band looking for a new sound should run with that one.

as for the rest of your comment, i agree... that's what i meant when i said "jump on the bandwagon biatches." obviously not everone reading these posts is a biatch, but i bet a lot of you are from the variety of intelligence found in the comments on this site.

Anonymous (September 24, 2003)

It's gonna be the in thing for a while to love Johnny Cash. "Oh Johnny Cash!! I love Johnny Cash!!!" Most* of the people saying it can't name 5 songs.
May the guy rest in peace but I'm not gonna sit here & pretend to be a huge fan of his music like most* of you frauds.

*most is the key word here. So to the 3 or 4 people who actually are fans of Johnny Cash, don't go listing 100 songs just to prove your Cashcoreness. It's not directed at you anyway.

ZLNFTOC (September 24, 2003)

I'll I'm saying is buy changing the lyric in that song to "I wear this crown of thorns" he is certainly alluding to a certain figure in history which is a bit odd since Trent Reznor has always been rather opposed to organized religion. I was just pointing out that by altering a single word in a song, Cash put "Hurt" into an entirely new context that was clearly different than that of Nine Inch Nails, a band who often are criticized for being too juvenile. It wasn't meant as any sort of attack or critique on Cash; if anything, it shows how potent of a song writer he wasn in that he could re-interpret a song by changing a feature as seemingly insignificant as the word "sh--" to "thorns." May Johnny Cash rest in peace.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

"Johnny has done it again, and he will never stop"

when was this review submitted? get on the ball guys, thursday and mxpx could've been knocked down a few notches for johnny cash. christ.

"It‚??s funny how Cash ‚??shot a man in Reno just to see him die‚?Ě but didn‚??t say ‚??sh--‚?Ě in ‚??Hurt.‚?Ě Yeah, the man‚??s dead which is sad and all, I just thought that needed to be pointed out."

maybe because saying "i wear this crown of shit" sounds really fucking juvenile. i'm glad he altered those lyrics.

what are you 'pointing out' anyway. i'm lost on your logic.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

1 because i hate country

ZLNFTOC (September 23, 2003)

It’s funny how Cash “shot a man in Reno just to see him die” but didn’t say “sh--” in “Hurt.” Yeah, the man’s dead which is sad and all, I just thought that needed to be pointed out.

judo (September 23, 2003)


Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

To the guy saying that everyone on this site is jumping on the Cash bandwagon, please sod off...

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

I love Cash, and I love Fiona Apple even more, she is one of my favorite singers. But the cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is just HORRIBLE. Sounds like they are singing two different songs on top of each other. God, awful awful!

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

I know this is the most typical comment ever, but his cover of "Hurt" is so so so so good.


Anonymous (September 23, 2003)


Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

the cover of "Hurt" is riduculously good. it's worth buying this album just for that song.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Many of us weren't even alive when Johnny was a big part of the music world. He has been in the news more often now than for the last twenty years, so it only makes sense that more people are becoming fans. Sorry that I was born in 1982, and didnt get into Johnny until i turned 18. Odds are i was younger when i got into Johnny than most people were when Johnny was huge in the 60's and 70's. We should be allowed to like anyone at anytime. How many people listened to Nirvana when Kurt died? Or maybe bought a John Lennon record after he was killed? Nobody seemed upset that when Joe Strummer died, and his record sales went up.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

You people are a bunch of little fucking kids. So what if some people just start liking the man's music? Better this than most of the shit plaguing MTV or the radio. You all sound like a bunch of pretentious little bitches.


Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

jump on the bandwagon, biatches!

SOYBOMB (September 23, 2003)

"funny how there are no other Cash reviews on this site, than the man dies and a week later, everyone is a fan."

Truly sad, isn't it?


Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

"funny how there are no other Cash reviews on this site, than the man dies and a week later, everyone is a fan."

Exactly. Regardless, this record is fair. American 1 is still the best of the four.

ripperwalk (September 23, 2003)

I posted this review over two weeks before the man even passed away. So don't even think this review is here because he died.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

funny how there are no other Cash reviews on this site, than the man dies and a week later, everyone is a fan.

KirbyPuckett (September 23, 2003)

Very good review.

- Scott

fakesmile (September 23, 2003)

Great album, but not a 5 star.
American III is better.

But the man can't do no wrong.

Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

I honestly cried while listening to his cover "In My Life" tonight.

What an amazing record.

adam (September 23, 2003)

I love the cover of "Personal Jesus" on here.


Anonymous (September 23, 2003)

Great job, RIP Johnny

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