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Cash, American VI: Ain't No Grave
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(2010/AMERICAN) 10 tracks (32:23) Johnny's Final Studio Album produced by Rick Rubin. 14 page booklet.
Ain't No Grave
For The Good Times
I Corinthians 15:55
Can't Help But
Wonder Where I'm Bound
I Don't Hurt Anymore
Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream
Top Customer Reviews
True it's not a "pop" album, but it like all the American albums it is packed with quality and the you could attribute a range of adjectives to the songs within. So for example:
"Ain't No Grave" - dramatic
"Redemption Day" - has a sense of urgency
"1 Corinthians 15:55" - poetic
"Satisfied Mind" - reflective
"Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream" - hopeful
The final song "Aloha Oe", which I know from the Elvis movie "Blue Hawaii", gives the impression to me that it was recorded by a man a man who was at peace with himself knowing that he was approaching the end of his days.
So I would say this final album is fully charged with different emotions, but "sad" is certainly not my overriding impression.
The album performed well in the charts on both sides of the Atlantic (US No.3 Billboard Top 200, No.2 County Albums, No.9 UK) and deservedly so.
I have thoroughly enjoyed acquiring and listening to the American albums from Johnny. I recommend the full set to anyone.
Johnny has been quoted as saying that the work he was doing with Rubin was the only thing keeping going after June sadly passed away and you can almost feel he's nearing the end as the songs see him looking back on his life and dealing with the difficult subject of salvation, faith and friendship.
This really is a wide range of songs that includes covers of Kris Kristofferson's 'For The Good Times'and'Redemption Day' by Sheryl Crowe, as well as one of the last songs he wrote 'First Corinthians', and its quite ironic that the set finishes with a song called 'Ain't No Grave'.
The Rubin years have really proved what a great talent Johnny was and that he can't be pigeon holed as simply a country musician, and this final set, almost 50 years on from his first recordings, is a great tribute to one of the great artists of popular music.
While many seem to somewhat dislike this album I actually think it is one of the best of the American recordings series, which as a whole are some of the best work Cash ever did.
I find the sometimes cracking and weaker voice on some tracks add to the power of this album rather than detract from it and Cash retains a great masculinity and honesty in his vocals despite his obviously weakening physical being due to ill-health.
Rather than being concerned about image or being pretentious Cash appears totally honest, sometimes brutally so and many songs appear to be him reflecting on the good and bad in his life.
In all Cash's work his voice is the stand-out factor to me and the simple arrangements in the American recordings series make the very best of it.
Each song suddenly takes on a life of its own as a piece of redemption (hence the inclusion of Sheryl Crow's Redemption Day). He does inject some original feel to Kris Kristofferson's For the Good Times and Tom Paxton's Can't Help Wonder Where I'm Bound" speaks for itself. Less successful is the Cash original taken from the book of Corinthians straight from the Bible and there is a tired feel to Cool Water and Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream. As a legacy and reminder of the Man in Black this is a fitting epitaph, as an album in its own right it is passable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Johnny in his own unique way was a genius. His living of life,and it's hard side too in many ways,comes through him and the lyrics straight into your mind and heart.Published 3 months ago by George Richardson