Johnny Cash: American III: Solitary ManJohnny Cash American III: Solitary Man

Johnny Cash: American III: Solitary Man

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Johnny Cash
American III: Solitary Man

A moving combination of original songs, country classics, and covers of modern rock, Cash crafts and whittles away each one into a unique piece thatís instinctively recognized as Cash.

Tom Petty, Sheryl Crow, Merle Haggard and Marty Stuart appear to sing, play or both. The strength of the covers is how Cash has made them completely his own creation, something very rare given how bad covers and awful tribute albums seem to be the order of the day. (For a wretched experience just give A Tribute to Prince: Party Oí The Times from Cleopatra Records a listen. Recovery will be arduous.)

Cashís version of U2ís "One" really gives Bono a run for his money. Heart rending, raw, and full of nuances, Cash and Tom Waits are probably the only singers who can make me cry (Although that Prince tribute album made me sob, it was different.). With Nick Caveís "Mercy Seat" he paints a gut wrenching picture about a manís final thoughts as he waits for the electric chair. Coming from a man who sang in prisons, who could show more pitiless compassion? "I wonít back down", with Tom Petty, features that strength of the common man that Cash embodies.

Cash also includes songs he sang in his youth, like "That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day)". "Country Trash" is a sunny ode to his remembered childhood country life. "I See A Darkness" exposes somber vulnerability. In "Iím Leaviní Now", the image of the moody loner persists as Merle Haggard and Cash share the microphone. "Solitary Man" is a hymn to the calloused man.

Finally, a big favorite is "Nobody", an old vaudeville song by Egbert Williams about not asking for anyone for anything. A scrooge anthem, itíll remind you of someone you know or an old neighbor you feared. "And until I get somethiní from somebody sometime, I donít intend to do nothiní for nobody, no time", he sings.

Truth be told, though, Cash is doing somethiní for this nobody.

  Anji Milanovic

     Johnny Cash: American IV: The Man Comes Around
     Walk the Line soundtrack
     Walk the Line - the film
     Rosanne Cash: Black Cadillac

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Johnny Cash: American III: Solitary Man

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