Over the past couple of years I’ve thought about compiling a list of the best albums of the decade. However, I realized such a task would require an incredible amount of time and research. You see, as much as I love music, there are still many, many albums over the past ten years I’ve never heard or giving much time to. Instead I’ve compiled a list of my top 25 favorite albums of the decade and I will count down of them over remaining 25 days of December. With that said, let me introduce my pick for number 25.
American V: A Hundred Highways by Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash is obviously a household name, but I have to admit I wasn’t turned on to his music until I heard his Nine Inch Nails cover of the song “Hurt” in 2002. I fell in love with the song and the album it was featured on, “American IV: When a Man Comes Around.” “American V” was release posthumously four years later and to my surprise it was an even stronger collection of songs than it’s predecessor.
We know now that when Cash recorded these songs he was at the end of his life, which is something he clearly must have known. It comes through both in the frailness of his voice and his choice of songs (Producer Rick Rubin obviously also deserves a lot of credit for the overall feel and theme of the album). Many of the songs speak of death and there is a sense of reaching out to God, knowing the end is near. However, the album doesn’t necessarily come across as sad , but has more of a somber feel. And as much as this album deals with death, ultimately it’s about life, in which death is a part of. When I listen to these songs they make me feel alive.
Look out for number 24 tomorrow!