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Human Wheels (Remastered)

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iTunes Review

Human Wheels continues in the heartland rock vein that John Mellencamp had mined so successfully since the early ‘80s. A serious mood pervades the album — the music simmers along in pensive grooves and the lyrics tell stories with less-than-happy endings. Mellencamp tones down his customary swagger as he serves up vignettes of hard-luck old flames (“Sweet Evening Breeze”) and offers snapshots of gritty urban landscapes (“When Jesus Left Birmingham”). There’s a defiant sense of hope to be found in tracks like “To the River” and the title song, underscored by the spirited playing of his exceptional backup group. In the rocking yet tender “What If I Came Knocking,” Mellencamp shows a mature command of romantic balladry. He continues his ongoing war against conformity in the bittersweet “Beige to Beige.” Human Wheels is fueled by a blend of acoustic sparkle and electric drive, with Kenny Aronoff’s muscular drumming and Lisa Germano’s shimmering fiddle and mandolin adding distinctive colors.

Customer Reviews

Long term favorite rock

This is a winning collection of tracks that seem to nail the human condition. "Human Wheels" can make you feel charitable to even the most offensive person, "Suzanne and the Jewels" is a charming mini story and "French Shoes" will make you sing along while other drivers look questioningly at you... "What if I came Knocking" captures the most compelling been-in-love feelings you ever had. The whole thing is Mellencamp capturing his success as heart felt song writer.

Human Wheels

This is not the typical John Cougar Mellonhead album. The guy takes what has worked on a pop basis and dives deeply into it to create songs quite unlike anything else he's done. Artful, insightful, deliberate, inticate melodies and arresting lyrics- it's just one of my favorite records.

His best work, period.

I have never really been a big fan of Mellencamp's. But this one came as a pleasant surprise. This album shows some maturity, and great songwriting.


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"...
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