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12/29/2010 - Not necessarily the year’s best, hottest or most influential roots music and country recordings, these 10 are, however, rewarding and worthy efforts that will enhance any collection, listed in no particular order. Read Greg Quill's complete list on the Toronto Star website.

10. John Mellencamp, No Better Than This (Rounder): Age compels some artists to revisit the comfortable past, others to gather their wits and strike out anew. Mellencamp’s latest is proof of his membership in the latter group. Smart, honest, incisive, intelligent, wise and poetic songs in stripped-down rockabilly, country and folk-rock formats actually sound like they’ve been with us for a long time. Read Greg Quill's full article on the Toronto Star site.
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12/29/2010 - Watch Robert Kinsler and TJR's Best of 2010 youtube video and read the full article on the Music Worth Buying site. 3. John Mellencamp, No Better Than This - Although the T Bone Burnett-produced sessions on John Mellencamp’s latest album were preserved using a single vintage microphone and a 55-year-old AMPEX 601 mono tape recorder, No Better Than This explodes with songs incorporating country-blues, early folk and tinges of rockabilly and gospel. It isn’t music for the masses, but it is truly music that matters.
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12/29/2010 - Read Peter Chianca's full list of songs on the Wicked Local site. " 9) “A Graceful Fall,” John Mellencamp: “It’s not a graceful fall from dreams to the truth,” observes Mellencamp, imbuing the words with simple beauty on a simply beautiful album..." Read More
12/28/2010 - For much of the past month, No Depression been trying to arrive at a solid list of the Top 20 Albums of 2010. During round one, readers were asked to submit a personal Top 20 list, which was, thereafter, narrowed down to 100-or-so contenders, and another another round of voting ensued. In the end, they came up with three lists: one which represents the original votes from Round One; another which reflects artists' ability to leverage their social networks and the enthusiasm of their fans; and another which was a consensus of some ND Featured Bloggers.

No Better Than This ranked 4th on the Bloggers Top 20, 5th in the readers submitted votes and 2nd in the open online voting. After the jump we have all three complete Top 20 lists. Read More
12/27/2010 - Our latest image is from the second night at the IU Auditorium in John's hometown of Bloomington, IN by Community member Brian Bruner.

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12/20/2010 - After the jump click the link to read Pat Driscoll's full Top 10 list.

7.) John Mellencamp – No Better Than This
I can’t explain it either, guys but here it is. I loved this record. Absolutely loved it. And I’m not even a Mellencamp guy. I am, however, a T. Bone Burnett guy and he’s a real star here. He and Mellencamp recorded these songs in mono into a single microphone which captured the whole band at once. As a result, you can kind of hear these songs live and breathe. Yes, it’s old fashioned and a bit precious but at the same time, it’s also kind of new all over again. There’s no mistaking it either. No Better Than This just sounds different from any other record released this year and “Coming Down the Road”, “No One Cares About Me” and “Love At First Sight” as is good a three song run on a record this year.
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12/17/2010 - Read John Metzger's full 4.5 out of 5 star No Better Than This review. Here are some excerpts: "Considering the strength and consistency of his creations in the past few years, it is safe to say that Mellencamp is getting better with age..."

"In retrospect, however, everything that Mellencamp has done thus far sounds like a long, meandering prelude to his latest effort No Better than This..." Read More
12/17/2010 - Read Anthony Kuminski's full review of John's Chicago, IL show at the Chicago Theater on November 27th. Here are some excerpts: "John Mellencamp's latest concert tour is full of American fools, dreamers, saints, sinners and above all else survivors. For over two hours, Mellencamp shined a light on these characters in what is more than his best concert tour in nearly two decades, but without question, the best concert I experienced in all of 2010..."

"This is the type of tour artists of stature spend years talking about, but almost never do. .."
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12/16/2010 - Our latest image is from The Speaking Clock Revue at the Beacon Theater in New York City, on Wednesday October 20 2010 from Mellencamp fan Tom Fielder. This picture finds John performing "Save Some Time To Dream" on a dark stage under one spotlight.

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12/16/2010 - PopMatters is an international online magazine of cultural criticism offering sharp, entertaining writing on a wide range of topics in pop culture, offering a refuge from the usual hype and gossip. Read Steve Lefrdige's full list of picks on the Pop Matters site. Here is an excerpt: "As a result, instead of making any attempt to assimilate, legendary artists like John Mellencamp and Robert Plant are mining the minimalist sounds of American roots history..." After the jump read the #2 No Better Than This pick.
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12/16/2010 - Now in its thirteenth year of online publication, The Music Box is a daily music and entertainment magazine featuring reviews, music news, tour dates, interviews, feature articles, Read John Metzger's top 10 list on The Music Box site. After the jump read the No Better Than This #2 pick. Read More
12/14/2010 - Pittsburgh Tribute-Review staff writer Rege Behe reviewed his picks for best shows in the Pittsburgh area in 2010. He wrote the article in the style of what he remembered best from the show:

"Everything about John Mellencamp's concert at Heinz Hall, Nov. 20. I admire Mellencamp's work, but I'm not a diehard fan. This concert was superb from beginning to end, with Mellencamp and his crack band taking a stripped down, neo-folk approach until the last quarter, when he unleashed his rock 'n' roll persona. I'm loathe to call anything the best, but if I have to choose, this was the concert of the year in Pittsburgh."
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12/14/2010 - Ken Leslie's blog includes photos of John's visit on the site. has reported in the past of  John's involvement in Toledo's Homeless Awareness Project - Tent City that sparked the the organization that raises awareness of the homeless. John has continued his support not only for 1Matters, but all of those who have lost domestic autonomy in our nation. 

During a recent concert stop in Detroit, MI John stopped by the C.O.T.S. a shelter close to the Fox Theater where he would perform on November 19th during his No Better Than This Tour.

After the jump read Ken Leslie's blog on John's visit to the shelter and the surprise he gave to all of the people that were there. Read More
12/13/2010 - John was interviewed on Public Radio International's "Bob Edwards Weekend" Dec. 11-12, 2010.  Bob spoke with John about his early career,  the making of the No Better Than This record and John's politics. Click HERE to listen to this half hour interview on the Bob Edwards Weekend website. Read More
12/13/2010 - Let’s cut to the chase here. The end of the year brings “best of” lists so here are my top ten CDs and singles of 2010. The list is going to differ from the many others out there because most notably absent from mine is Arcade Fire’s “The Suburbs,” which I thought was busy and overlong and offered nothing but a superficial gloss on the sterility and emotional paralysis of its title subject.

The songs gave the appearance of profundity and insight without actually delivering us any new lyrical or musical ideas. If you love it wear it out, but I’m not on the disc’s bandwagon.

John Mellencamp: “No Better Than This” (Rounder). Perhaps, no rock star has aged as gracefully and dealt with the difficulties of facing down the darkness of our existence as Mellencamp. This CD was recorded in mono at some historic places including Sun Studios. With T-Bone Burnett producing and a batch of his best, most reflective songs, Mellencamp has created a deeply introspective record lamenting the ephemeral nature of life while celebrating the small epiphanies that keep us going during our most vulnerable moments. A beautiful, soulful record.

After the jump click the link to read Capt. Ken's full list

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