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Plain Spoken

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iTunes Review

At 62 years old, John Mellencamp sounds much more comfortable in his own skin. The years he spent trying to find an audience and a voice made him understand the preciousness of his situation when he broke through in the ‘80s, and his performances have always kept his audience in mind. He recorded his 22nd album in his home state of Indiana with Americana veteran T Bone Burnett executive-producing. It's a stripped-down, lyrically rich collection of songs, ranging from the poignancy of relationship troubles of “Tears in Vain” to the dark humor guiding the political commentary of “Lawless Times.” Acoustic instrumentation throughout creates more of the naturalistic sound that Mellencamp has been seeking over the past number of years, though a tune like “Good Charlotte” benefits from a hint of organ and “Lawless Times” punctuates its grooves with a nice bluesy electric guitar. Mellencamp's voice is clearly roughed up; at times it sounds like the heir to Bob Dylan’s weathered croak, just 10 years behind.

Customer Reviews

How About Melodies

John's last few albums were so bare bones I was hoping he might get back into the swing of things and put a few electric guitars and loud drums back into the mix. Guess I was wrong. Great artist,just a bit lost right now.

nothing left

not very good plain and simple. hoped for the best but....??? thing with him was that his songs had feeling and soul.
my opinion, it's missing big time on this album.(cd) blah

Back to The Heartland

Love how John has evolved not only in music but in life. This is his best! Heartfelt, soulful and good on the ears!!!


Born: October 7, 1951 in Seymour, IN

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Throughout his career, John Mellencamp has had to fight, whether it was for the right to record under his own name or for respect as an artist. Of course, he never made it easy on himself. Mellencamp began his career in the late '70s as a Bruce Springsteen clone called Johnny Cougar. As his career progressed, his music became more distinctive, developing into a Stonesy blend of hard rock and folk-rock. His musical development coincided with his growth in popularity -- by the time "Hurts So Good"...
Full Bio