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American V: A Hundred Highways
|Price:||CDN$ 16.12 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details|
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Help Me|
|2. God's Gonna Cut You Down|
|3. Like The 309 (the last song Johnny wrote & recorded)|
|4. If You Could Read My Mind|
|5. Further On Up the Road|
|6. The Evening Train|
|7. I Came To Believe|
|8. Love's Been Good To Me|
|9. A Legend In My Time|
|10. Rose Of My Heart|
|11. Four Strong Winds|
|12. I'm Free From The Chain Gang Now|
The album is a continuation of the highly popular and critically acclaimed series of American recordings produced by Rick Rubin. The series began with 1994's acclaimedAmerican Recordings, followed by Unchained (1996), American III: Solitary Man (2000) and American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002). AMERICAN V contains 12 tracks and includes one Johnny original, 'Like The 309' (the last song that Johnny wrote and recorded before he died).
The ethical questions surrounding this final album in the American Recordings series are as unavoidable as they are, ultimately, peripheral. While the vocal tracks were recorded in the months just prior to Johnny Cash's passing in September 2003, the arrangements weren't undertaken until two years later. And though producer Rick Rubin had become a trusted friend, the Man in Black wasn't around to approve or disapprove, let alone guide, the final sessions. However, if the pure power of these recordings doesn't quiet the skeptics, nothing will. With Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench and slide guitar session pro Smokey Hormel on board (all three of whom appear on earlier Cash albums), along with guitarists Matt Sweeney and Johnny Polansky, the sound is stately and acoustic, but rarely staid, even as the dynamics of earlier recordings in the series are absent. Instead, the songs have a measured, elegiac intensity, the sound of musicians choosing their notes carefully and making just the right choices.The songs Cash sings are, unsurprisingly, confessional and reflective: his mortality and his mistakes, his maker and his salvation, and the loss of his wife June and the end of his career may have weighed on his mind, but in these songs he both embodies and transcends his personal history. On "God's Gonna Cut You Down," as the musicians clap and stomp behind him, his voice cuts through the air like that same avenging hand. On the new original "Like the 309"--the last song Cash ever wrote--he cops to being short of breath, and that voice becomes a metaphor for what each of us will one day face. On Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Read My Mind," Rubin flirts with overwhelming the damp bittersweetness of Cash's phrasing in tasteful atmospherics, but the voice is implacable, hitting and finding notes one never expected he'd have the will to find. Likewise, it's hard to believe this is his first recording of Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds"; the elemental narrative seems to have been written for him. Two songs, however, Cash has recorded before: the born-again hymn "I Came to Believe" and the final spiritual, "I'm Free from the Chain Gang Now." The latter especially is a definitive testament, as is his version of Bruce Springsteen's "Further On (Up the Road)." "One sunny morning we'll rise, I know / And I'll meet you further on up the road," he sings. If only, John, if only. --Roy Kasten
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Top Customer Reviews
It's almost as if this is his deathbed confession and he's giving it to us.
Amazing work. Johnny, you will be missed.
This series gave Johnny the opportunity to give a nod to a mostly younger generation of songwriters whose work he admired by recording their songs in his own unmistakable style. Tempered, of course by Rick Rubin's production and the input of numerous session players and other stars, not least of which were most of The Heartbreakers, Johnny did take the opportunity to re-interpret some of his own compositions as well.
Before commenting on Johnny's songwriting in songs such as "I Hung My Head" however, reviewers might take a moment to read their liner notes and then offer their compliments to such songwriters as Sting ("I Hung My Head"), Tom Petty ("Southern Accents") and the many others whose work impressed Johnny Cash enough to inspire him to re-interpret it himself.
Most recent customer reviews
I was really happy that it arrived earlier than expected. As for the music c'mon it's Johnny freakin Cash !!!Published on Oct. 16 2013 by Nuksook
I won this CD in a contest. It's pretty good considering I was never a big fan of Johnny Cash until I watched "Walk the Line".Published on Dec 10 2006 by Kay