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American II: Unchained

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iTunes Review

No one understood the power of Johnny Cash's music better than Rick Rubin. As Cash's final producer, Rubin directed Cash's music back to the minimalist, muscular perfection of the Tennessee Two and inspired him to cover songs from the widest gamut imaginable. Thanks to Rubin, Cash did not go gently. His last recorded work, trademarked by a three-note crag of a voice grown even wearier with age, has a majesty that cannot be faked. Whether Cash is singing Tom Petty's "Southern Accents" (and whose Heartbreakers back Cash on this album), Soundgarden's "Rusty Cage" or the old country standard "The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea," the material takes on a uniformity of vision. Music once thought to be country or folk or hard rock becomes American music when sung Cash.

Customer Reviews

More Fun than the First

Johnny Cash's "American Recordings," the first of four albums in the "American" series produced by Rick Rubin (a fifth is due early next year), was a dark and powerful album and triumphant return for the Man in Black. With this follow-up, Cash lightens the mood a bit with playful tunes like “Mean Eyed Cat” and “I’ve Been Everywhere.” With the help of Tom Petty and Heartbreakers, the album rocks as well with “Sea of Heartbreak" (with Petty on backing vocals) and the driving “Rusty Cage.” But, as with all of these albums, when Cash slows it down, he takes you places few artists can. This is evident in his powerful interpretation of Josh Haden’s “Spiritual,” to me the highlight of this great album.

this is great

johnny cash is the man....nothing else needs to be said.


the titles the only way to desribe johnny cash. he has a way of making all of his songs sound good, with minimal instruments. he also managed to write music for nearly 50 years. hes not a legend of country music. hes a legend period. all of his records could be my favorite R.I.P. man in black


Born: February 26, 1932 in Kingsland, AR

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Johnny Cash was one of the most imposing and influential figures in post-World War II country music. With his deep, resonant baritone and spare percussive guitar, he had a basic, distinctive sound. Cash didn't sound like Nashville, nor did he sound like honky tonk or rock & roll. He created his own subgenre, falling halfway between the blunt emotional honesty of folk, the rebelliousness of rock & roll, and the world-weariness of country. Cash's career coincided with the birth of rock & roll, and...
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