on 27 April 2003
Cash has never sounded better. His own songs on this album are fantastic, but the covers are the stars. "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", "In My Life" and (astonishingly) "Personal Jesus".
"In My Life" is one of those exceedingly rare moments on record when you can feel the hairs on the back of your neck standing up. An old man singing a song about a full life, it's beautiful, sad and immensely powerful at the same time.
Minimal production pushes Johnny's fantastically craggy voice to the forefront.
A stunning album. Could it be Johnny's best yet?
on 10 March 2006
I promise you that you will not regret buying this album (unless of course you have no taste!). This was probably the last recording the man in black made and I would have to say it is as good as it gets. Sell your granny and buy it if you know whats good for you!
on 5 September 2006
I now know that my taste in music has truly matured. A one time headbanger who decried all "Country Music" as suitable only for cardigan wearing Dads to play on a Sunday morning when you were trying to get much needed sleep, I have, through this album, discovered the true gravelly joy, angst-filled desperation and delicious depression that is Mr. Cash.
I first heard the track "Hurt" on the radio, unmistakably Johnny Cash, and bought the album the next day. The Nine-Inch-Nails credentials did no harm in this decision making, but I was astounded by just how good a cover this is. In fact, better than the original IMO.
The whole album is a real gem, with the aforementioned "Hurt", alongside "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face", as standout tracks that make you just want to weep (yes, even a grizzled old 'eadbanger like me has feelings). And to end with "In My Life" (probably my favorite Beatles track) is almost too much for a fragile psyche, especially if you've listened to the whole album. Best listened to in a darkened room, with your eyes shut and an air (acoustic) guitar strapped across your lap ! Quite simply superb, and a must have in any music lovers collection.
on 27 June 2005
Many of the songs on the album I like by the original artists, and as a rule I am one of those people who rarely likes a cover version. However the giant of music who was Johnny Cash takes each one and adds such poignancy. Another reviewer was right get to his cover of In My Life and you damn well better cry, the Beatles sang as young men this song Johnny was looking down the barrel of his own mortality and was prepared. Even if you are not a fan listen to his American recording as stand alone pieces of work and if you can afford the time read his autobiography. The man in black will surely be sitting next to the man in white now.
on 3 October 2003
The Man Has REALLY Come Around, 21 November 2002, updated October 2003
Reviewer: les remmington from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom
If you like the music and voice of John R Cash, then The Man Comes Around wont be hard to sell to you. From 'Hot & Blue Guitar' at Sun Records in the 50's, 'The Fabulous Johnny Cash' to 'Heroes' at CBS, 'Coming to Town' to 'Mystery of Life' at Mercury, and the five American Recordings (including the Nelson duet live show), I have every album by "The Man", and 'The Man Comes Around' is right up there with his best work. With almost 50 years of quality work, John R Cash is a true genius at making music.
Having written hundred’s of songs, the self written title track reveals Johnny's superb lyrical talent is as good as ever, but it's the cover versions that hit you in the face and 'Hurt' for his pure genius at making every song his own. You actually question if Paul Simon really wrote 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', and the same with Lennon & McCartney's 'In My Life', and surely the name Cash is credited with writing 'The First Time, Ever I Saw Your Face', 'Hurt', and 'Personal Jesus'.
It is Personal Cash.
This indeed, is the true deep genius of "The Man", but should you want to be foot tappin' around your house, I suggest you purchase 'Classic Cash' (Mercury), or one of the many recent 'best of' compilations, but if you want to sit down in your living room in your arm chair with your feet up and actually FEEL like "The Man Has REALLY Come Around", then this album will do that!
I wrote this before 12th September 2003, but the great news is that this is definitely not Johnny’s “swan song”, as some have said, for thanks to Rick Rubin there is more to come of this brilliance, as he recorded American V, plus many other songs for “Unearthed” , so keep listening When The Man Comes Around……. Again.
on 2 November 2002
I was first introduced to the American recordings with no 3 'solitary man' when voted best album of the year by one UK music mag. Mr Cash had definately reached the pinnacle of a remarkable career.he has equalled this with 'the man comes around'. His choice of covers portray a man at peace with his life and his experiences shine through on such classics as Lennons 'In My Life' and Paul Simon's 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' and His distinctive voice and guitar add weight to make such great songs even greater.from the opening self penned title track to the 'We'll meet again' finale all confirm Johnny Cash as one of the great artists of the last and current centuary. The albums high point has got to be his haunting vocal and the backing piano and organ on Ewan Maccoll's 'First time ever i saw your Face' if not for Roberta Flack this would be the definitive version of this all time classic. There will have to be some great albums betweeen now and Xmas to better this for album of the year. Stand up and listen all you wannabe pop idols!
on 5 November 2002
In the opening line of this album, Johnny Cash sings, "and I heard, as it were, the noise of thunder". This is a perfect metaphor for Cash's voice. Though now weaker ,broken and older than before it is still a power to behold.
This is the fourth album Cash has produced for Rick Rubin's American label and is the usual mixture of Cash originals, standards and well chosen covers of contemporary artists. Cash is accompanied by a host of talented musicians, including John Frusciante (Red Hot Chilli Peppers), Don Henley, Fiona Apple and Nick Cave.
The sound of this album is simple and intimate, yet it has the power to build into awesome walls of sound- nowhere more than on 'Hurt', a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song.
But the most powerful and beautiful instrument remains Cash's voice. Years of experience can be heard in him deep grumble, and recent brushes with mortality add an extra poignancy to these songs of love, death, betrayal, hope and loss.
One of the most impressive things is Cash's ability to make each song his own. Even over familiar songs such as 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' seemed to have found their perfect home in Cash's repertore.
Of the highlights, 'I Hung My Head' is a typical tale of regret and redemption. Cash's skill as a storyteller gives the song an impact way beyond the ability of its creator, Sting. Also impressive is the cover of Depeche Mode's 'Personal Jesus'. The technopop original becomes a bar room brawl of a classic, thanks in no small part to Billy Preston's honky tonk piano.
It's not all great. 'Danny Boy' belongs in Karaoke hell, and we can only hope that closer 'We'll Meet Again' is Johnny's idea if a joke!
Overall, Johnny Cash is unique in the world of rock, pop and country in that he is still, in his golden years, producing work of great quality. This album is equally as affecting as his other American releases, and therefore up there with the greatest work the man in black has ever produced.
Johnny Cash continues his resurrection as a great recording artist with this, the fourth of his American Recordings. Arguably the finest of the series and among Cash's greatest albums, it features two instant classics, the self-penned 'The Man Comes Around' and his searing version of Trent Reznor's 'Hurt'. Both sum up the apocalytic beauty and heartbreak of the best of Cash's work. His voice remains a thing of beauty, in fact its slight cracking with age only adds to its poignancy and potency. Other stand-out tracks include 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', 'I Hung My Head', 'The Streets Of Laredo', and the hilarious 'Sam Hall'. The fragile yearning of 'First Time I Ever Saw Your Face' never fails to move, and he duets with Nick Cave on old favourite 'I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry'. Even his cover of Depeche Mode's 'Personal Jesus' improbably works. He even almost makes the Beatles sound good with 'I My Life' (I said almost).
Country music fan or no, this is great music by a unique artist who transcends age and musical genres. Cash's voice echoes with a blasted and desolate beauty that sears itself into your soul. Once heard, never forgotten.
on 1 November 2005
This album is phonemenal."Hurt" is simply stunning. I'm not a Nine Inch Nails fan but my husband is and we both thinks the track is amazing. We bought the album on the strength of this alone. All the songs without exception are very different yet complimentary to the originals. We're not country and western fans, but Johnny's voice shines through. An absolute joy!
on 4 October 2004
Excellent album, although you do have to be in a certain mood to listen to it. The tracks 'hurt' 'the man comes around' and 'in my life' definitely stand out as classics, although 'sam hall' and 'bridge over troubled water' are worth a mention. Its Cash writing and singing from the heart and if you are a fan, this is a 'must buy', you won't be disappointed!