The fourth installation in a remarkably inspired and prolific collaboration between Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin, marked by stunning performances and ambitious song selection, finds the legendary artist

The fourth installation in a remarkably inspired and prolific collaboration between Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin, marked by stunning performances and ambitious song selection, finds the legendary artist in a reflective but nonetheless fearless mode—just how we like him. Still kicking ass at 70, Cash begins the CD with his Armageddon wake-up call of a title cut. "The hairs on your arm will stand up," he proclaims, and guess what, he's not kidding. Cash sounds weary, yet sage and resolute on Trent Reznor's "Hurt" and a sublimely poignant "In My Life," yet stronger on "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (with Fiona Apple) and on Sting's regretful "I Hung My Head." The old warhorse can still wax romantic (witness "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," "Danny Boy"), and he's still got some fight in him as well ("Personal Jesus," "Sam Hall"). "A-swingin' I must go," he vows on the latter, and God bless him for it.—RW