Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways
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American V: A Hundred Highways (American/Lost Highway, 2006)

Johnny Cash

Reviewed by Jason MacNeil

The final album of material performed by the legendary Johnny Cash closes a chapter of American music that won't be duplicated. The months leading up to his death though found Cash still working on songs. And this last album, produced by Rick Rubin, certainly isn't the least in terms of quality.

The album opens with "Help Me," a haunting and moving track that Cash nails nicely. From there "God's Gonna Cut You Down" is a plodding, pleasing number that gets darker with each line as Cash almost raps portions of the lyrics. The first of two Cash-penned songs include the slow but bluesy and catchy "Like The 309" that shows Cash, despite failing health, still delivering the goods. While there are precious covers of Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind" and Ian Tyson's "Four Strong Winds," Cash shines on Springsteen's "Further On (Up The Road)" with a folksy, mid-tempo feeling. And most of the songs deal with some aspect with death, particularly on the morbid and sparse "On The Evening Train."

Cash perhaps sums up his career best in "A Legend In My Time," a tender, wistful tune that is one of his strongest performances here. It's an album to cherish given that there'll be no more to come.

CDs by Johnny Cash

Koncert v Praze (In Prague-Live), 2016 Man In Black: Live in Denmark 1971, 2015 Out Among the Stars, 2014 Bootleg Vol. IV: The Soul of Truth, 2012 From Memphis To Hollywood, 2011 American VI: Ain't No Grave, 2010 Johnny Cash's America CD/DVD, 2008 At Folsom Prison: Legacy Edition, 2008 The Johnny Cash Christmas Special 1978 DVD, 2008 The Johnny Cash Christmas Special 1979 DVD, 2008 At San Quentin, 2006 American V: A Hundred Highways, 2006 Personal File, 2006 The Johnny Cash Children's Album, 2006 The Legend, 2005

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