American III: Solitary Man
Johnny Cash - 2000
Thanks to Rick Rubin, we have a wealth of phenomenal releases from Cash in the last decade of his life. The "American" albums matched Johnny up with songs both in and out of his wheelhouse, to stunning effect. Rubin brought him hundreds of songs to record, some he knew well, such as old hymns and folk songs, and others that he never would have been exposed to by Soundgarden, Danzig, Depeche Mode, etc. Each song, regardless of its origin, was interpreted with Johnny's themes of love, death, faith, and heartbreak. On "III" he's backed by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers who provide the perfect foundation, yet stay out of his way to let the man and the song speak.