Return of the Man in Black.

Composed of recently unearthed, never-before-released studio tracks from the 1980s, Johnny Cash’s posthumous album may not light up the charts in a ring of fire but it serves as a reminder to the Man in Black’s legacy. Almost every track is solid, many exceptional in one small part or another—even if it’s simply Cash’s signature deep voice on songs such as the title track and “She Used to Love Me a Lot.” The latter is painful in its simplicity and Cash tells a story of hurt like only he can. Of the three duets—two with June Carter Cash and one with Waylon Jennings—Johnny and his wife hit the mark with “Baby Ride Easy,” a country karaoke challenger to Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe.” Most surprising are two tracks overflowing with humor: “If I Told You Who It Was” details a sexy romp with a famous country singer and has a twist ending that tips its hat to true Opry royalty, while the spurned-love murder/suicide of “I Drove Her Out of My Mind” is full of twisted wordplay and dark humor. Pick any track and compare it to country’s current chart toppers and the differences are striking, but it’s the similarities—pain, humor, and the struggles of life—that show where the genre came from and where it’s still going.