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JSItop21.com's On The Rural Route 7609 Review
06.18.2010 - Music blog JSItop21.com's John Shelton Ivany reviews On The Rural Route 7609 in his current online newsletter issue #378:

John Mellencamp "On the Rural Route 7609, 4 CD Set and Book," Mercury/Island/Universal Music Enterprises

John Mellencamp blows you away with this book and CD collection that features music, stories and lyrics ranging from 1976, when he became active in the music scene, to 2009, the most recent recording date of the collection. From political declarations to love ballads to telling the intriguing stories of everyday people, the entire collection pulses with life. Mellencamp growls, calls, chants and sings his way through innumerable songs. The musical background is diverse in tempo and style. Still, the tunes flow smoothly together around and over the rocks and mud in the riverbed of Mellencamp's country-boy-come- rock-philosopher life.

"On the Rural Route 7609" features his popular songs as well as special treats like demo recordings and guest appearances by Joan Baez, Cornell West and more than 20 others. Although all the songs are so familiar that you would swear they are collectively written folk songs, Mellencamp himself wrote almost all of them. But perhaps they were, in essence, written by the public after all: When Mellencamp writes from his soul, the outcome is poignant enough to implicate all of us who have rage in our heads and love in our chests.

This collection is not to be missed. If all you know is "Jack and Diane," dive in and get to know the intense, amazing wisdom and character behind the rock star.

*****Shelton's Single of the Week: "PINK HOUSES"*********

JSItop21.com EDITOR'S NOTE: MELLENCAMP'S UNDERSTANDING OF POP MYTHOLOGY IS PHENOMENAL. IF YOU'VE EVER DRIVEN ACROSS THE USA AS I HAVE, YOU PUT TREMENDOUS STOCK IN CULTURAL TOUCHSTONES, SMALL TOWN LIFE AND THE AMERICAN DREAM. HE EXPECTS HIS LISTENERS TO BELIEVE IN SUCH THINGS AS FERVENTLY AS HE DOES. AND IF YOU DON'T, DRIVE SLOWLY ACROSS THIS COUNTRY SO YOU CAN LEARN A LOT AND UNDERSTAND WHY HE'S SUCH A GREAT ARTIST.
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