Rolling Stone - 5/13/99, p.60
Included in Rolling Stone's "Essential Recordings of the 90's."
Rolling Stone - 5/19/94, p.975 Stars
- Classic - "...exactly the sort of album Cash needed to make...Cash alone with an acoustic guitar, confronting traditional folk songs...AMERICAN RECORDINGS is...fiercely true to the legend of Johnny Cash and entirely contemporary...."
Entertainment Weekly - 9/26/03, p.34
"...A bare-bones masterpiece that...captures the tortured, aspirant soul of a master."
Q - 9/94, p.1174 Stars
- Excellent - "...There simply won't be a braver or more honest record all year..."
Uncut - 5/04, p.108
"[T]he sparse, parched mood is closer to his original Sun recordings..."
Musician - 6/94, p.77
"...a spellbinding and thought-provoking album that sounds literally ageless...an uplifting word about walking the line from one who has walked it more often, and more steadily, than most...."
Village Voice (2/28/95) - Ranked #7
in the Village Voice's 1994 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.
Mojo (Publisher) - p.67Ranked #2
in Mojo's "100 Modern Classics" -- "[A] raw, bitter album that - once again - made Cash an anti-hero superstar."
Mojo (Publisher) - 1/95, p.51
Included in Mojo's "25 Best Albums of 1994" - "...Johnny Cash sings Danzig? You'd better believe it."
NME (Magazine) - 12/24/94, p.22Ranked #23
in NME's list of the 'Top 50 Albums Of 1994.'
NME (Magazine) - 10/8/94, p.46
9 - Excellent Plus - "...This is an album wreathed in shadows, a confessional and autobiographical work that is, in the end, uplifting and life affirming because the message is taught through adversity, ill luck and fighting for survival..."
NME (Magazine) - 11/12/94
Ranked as NME's Album Of The Month - "...these stark, acoustic songs add yet another layer of Cash myth..."
Solo performer: Johnny Cash (vocals, acoustic guitar).
Includes liner notes by Johnny Cash.
AMERICAN RECORDINGS won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album.
Johnny Cash is back and better than ever. The legendary Man In Black is now recording for a modern rock label, and is being produced by hard-core rap/rock guru Rick Rubin--and the results are startling. Spare and stripped to the bone, AMERICAN RECORDINGS is Johnny Cash at his artistic zenith.
An original acoustic ballad, the opening "Delia's Gone" is a watershed accomplishment. Wryly capturing the art of the death ballad, it presents a thoroughly textured dramatic piece, both horrifying and humorous. The same can be said for Cash's droll reading of Loudon Wainwright's "The Man Who Could Not Cry." An extremely religious man, Johnny includes several songs dealing with themes of redemption, righteousness and spiritual salvation.
Sandwiched between those two songs is a character-rich, eclectic collection of material by writers like Leonard Cohen, British rocker/ex-son-in-law Nick Lowe, Tom Waits, death-metal god Glenn Danzig, and Cash himself. With his resounding baritone--which is in the best form of his long career--and restricted guitar technique, Cash is the centerpiece, creating a sound that is uniquely American--proud, solitary, nearly broken, yet defiant.
Johnny Cash, alone with a single guitar, is commanding in his dry, unencumbered intensity. AMERICAN RECORDINGS reaffirms his unique musical prowess, and presents his glorious shadowy skills to a new generation.