back in stock and cheap. for younger generations of musicians, having their song cut by johnny cash must be a little like scaling the washington monument. on his third album for producer rick rubin's american label, cash makes tom petty's 'i won't back down' sound like a companion classic to 'i walk the line.' he transforms u2's 'one' into a sturdy testament of plainspoken faith, while he plumbs the netherworld of nick cave's 'the mercy seat' and will oldham's 'i see a darkness.' amid more familiar fare (including neil diamond's title track), the album's sing-along standout is the deadpan, down-and-out, talking blues of 'nobody.' cash's recent originals have the age-old purity of appalachian music, while the traditional closing of 'wayfaring stranger' offers bittersweet benediction. merle haggard, sheryl crow, and june carter cash provide vocal cameos.