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New York Post 4 out of 5 Stars No Better Than This Review
08.17.2010 - New York Post By Dan Aquilante

When it comes to Americana, he’s a Mellen-champ

John Mellencamp’s new album sounds old — not like John Cougar “Jack and Diane” old, but more like Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly old. The record’s aged quality lies in Mellencamp’s grit ’n’ gravel vocals and his lyrics, which seem to have built-in workingman folk wisdom. Tunes like “Save Some Time to Dream,” the record’s opener, and “Don’t Forget About Me” are smart songs presented in timeless acoustic arrangements produced by T Bone Burnett. He set dials at lo-fidelity and recorded all 13 songs in mono with a single microphone and a vintage 50-year-old Apex tape recorder. Mellencamp recorded at three historically important locations: Memphis’ Sun Studio, where Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash first forged rock ’n’ roll; the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Ga., America’s oldest African-American congregation; and Room 414 at San Antonio’s Gunter Hotel, where Robert Johnson was first recorded in 1936. It may sound like a gimmick, but these old-fashioned songs and the retro recording treatment — not to mention all the ghosts — give this disc a vibe of Americana authenticity.


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