UK's The Word Magazine: Life, Death, Love And Freedom Review
John Mellencamp - Life, Death, Love And Freedom - Hear Music
By Nige Tassell from the November 2008 issue.
T-Bone takes the Springsteen wannabe into the black
T-Bone Burnett is in danger of eclipsing Rick Rubin as the producer an artist is
most likely to call when wishing to re-route their career, whether itís
persuading BB King to dispense with those backslapping celebrity collaborations
and revisit the music of his youth, or here nudging everyman blue-collar rock
Mellencamp away from an FM-radio-friendly rock sound. Instead, Burnett leads the
former ďCougarĒ into some darker corners, shifting into a lower gear to the
accompaniment of delicate acoustic arrangements. Such restraint hasnít halted
Mellencampís career-long desire to be Bruce Springsteen II, though-tracks like
Longest Days, complete with the requisites and paper vocals, could be off-cuts
from Nebraska. Whatís more, as refreshingly tasteful and considered as Life,
Death, Love And Freedom may be, Mellencamp is sticking his flag into territory
already claimed by Steve Earle, a man who writes more memorable songs that go
deeper into the human condition.
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A Ride Back Home
Lack of ambition has never been a problem for John Mellencamp His new album is
called Life, Death, Love And Freedom, which gives you some hint of its scope.
Itís produced by T-Bond Burnett, whose recent success with Robert Plant and
Alison Krauss indicates that he knows how to bridge the gap between roots music
and the mainstream. Mellencamp reckons itís the best record heís ever made.