Springfield, MA Sunday Republican LDL&F Album Review
07.12.2008 - John Mellencamp, "Life, Death, Love and Freedom"
(Hear Music) 4 Stars
It's really refreshing when artists come through with some of the
best work of their career at a time when they really don't need to.
John Mellencamp has been to the rock 'n' roll mountaintop, and could
comfortably rest on his stack of hits the rest of his life.
But like John Lennon did on "Double Fantasy," Mellencamp is writing
for people his age and frequently doing so brilliantly on the
perfectly-titled 14-song saga "Life, Death, Love and Freedom."
Produced by T-Bone Burnett and featuring Mellencamp's veteran
touring band, the disc is sparse and to the point. The somber wake-up call
about the shortness of life, "Longest Days," sets the tone immediately, and
other cuts including the raw blues of "If I Die Sudden" and "Don't Need This
Body" offer deeply spiritual thoughts guaranteed to make you listen again
and again, just to get closer to where the writer was at, with each new
There are also some upbeat musical moments as well, particularly the
first single "My Sweet Love," which sounds very reminiscent of vintage of
The CD comes packaged as a double disc. The first is a standard CD.
The second disc, a DVD, features the same songs except in the very warm
sounding 96 khz, 24-bit high definition CODE audio format. Developed by
Burnett and his team of engineers, it is playable on all DVD players.