10/19/2008 - With the election looming, are American singers prepared to nail their colours to the mast|
By Dan Cairns
As a reminder of the potential perils faced by musicians who are perceived to
be heading down an overtly political path, the case of the new Fall Out Boy
album is instructive. Originally due for release on November 4, the day of the
US presidential election, Folie à Deux has now been put back to December. The
record had been trailed by the band as “social commentary”, but they apparently
now feel that the resulting press coverage has “skewed us into a partisan band.
We never intended to be the band that shoved our ideas down people’s throats”.
One man who has no problem being seen as someone who shoves ideas down people’s
throats is John Mellencamp. For more than 20 years, the Indiana singer has been
dismantling the name, image and sound his early managers pushed on him, burying
Johnny Cougar the hick heart-throb and establishing in his place a songwriter
an Read More
It seemed only fitting that on the day that a new CBS News/New York Times poll found that a record high 89 percent of Americans—Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike--believe that the country is on the wrong track, John Mellencamp announced a new Web site exclusive solo acoustic video performance “Troubled Land,” the single from his acclaimed album “Life, Death, Love, and Freedom.” And in agreement with the song’s opening lyric “Well there's a pain in my side/But I keep travelin’ on/Bring peace to this troubled land…,” Mellencamp was himself greatly troubled.
From the rustic setting of his home in Bloomington, Indiana, he shared his though Read More
10/15/2008 - John Mellencamp's season of political discontent|
The singer's candor comes through not only in his music but in his conversation.
By Tina Daunt - Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 14, 2008 - From the Los Angeles Times Click HERE to read online.
BLOOMINGTON, IND. — JOHN MELLENCAMP captured something about himself three decades ago when he penned the words, "I need a lover that won't drive me crazy." Someone who knows the meaning of "hey hit the highway."
These days, he could say the same for most of America's politicians.
Sure, Mellencamp is from the red state of Indiana, and he wrote all of those patriotic-sounding tunes like "R.O.C.K. in the USA" and "Small Town." But when it comes to matters of the country, Mellencamp is far from nationalistic. To say the least, he's fed up.
He thinks Barack Obama is t Read More
10/14/2008 - |
Written by K L Poore
Overall rating: (weighted) 5.0
Sound Quality: 5.0
John Mellencamp’s Life, Death, Love and Freedom is a mature, melancholy and
mesmerizing work about all of the aforementioned, especially death. With
emotionally appropriate production from T Bone Burnett LDL&F isn’t exactly
“whistling past the graveyard” but it’s about as close as you’ll ever get.
After one listen I have resolved never to listen to it: by myself; in the dark;
after a really bad day. That it was in a Super HD stereo format that is as
pristine and as close to source as you’ll get outside of the studio helped jack
up the spooky factor about a gazillion percent.
And the Death in the title isn’t merely our returning to dust. While it seems
that Mellencamp is looking in a mirror and singing to himself, as on “Longest
Days” when he accepts that “sometimes you get sick, and you don’t get better,” I
believe he’s also holding up that Read More
10/11/2008 - 4 out of 5 Stars|
By Victoria Segal
When John McCain started using Mellencamp's songs to soundtrack his campaign, the veteran singer-songwriter firmly asked him to stop. Life Death Love and Freedom - a weighty set of thematic concerns in anyone's book - goes some way to explaining his feelings with a collection of songs that wear their unsentimental humanity on their well-worn denim sleeves. Jena, dealing with recent racism in a Southern town, and Troubled Land highlight Mellencamp's politics. But it's the dying-of-the-light laments Without a Shot and Don't Need This Body that tap into an authentic spiritual gloom.
Click HERE to read this article online.
10/10/2008 - |
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 it’s
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 “Cougar” into some darker corners, shifting into a lower gear to the
accompaniment of delicate acoustic arrangements. Such restraint hasn’t halted
Mellencamp’s 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. What’s more, as refreshingly tasteful and considered as Life,
Death, Love And Freedom may be Read More
10/09/2008 - |
I'm a little weary of Jack and Diane but I can't hate them too much.
By SIMON COSYNS
Life Death Love And Freedom
I’d always put John Mellencamp down as a nearly man, nearly in the same bracket
as Bruce Springsteen but not quite.
He’d shifted truckloads of albums in the Eighties. His Jack And Diane were the
most celebrated couple in song.
He could sell out vast arenas, write an endless stream of multi-platinum albums
... but something was missing.
We’d seen Johnny Cougar the pop star but perhaps we hadn’t always seen the real
John Mellencamp, the uncompromising, searingly honest artist he is today.
His new album Life Death Love And Freedom is, without question, the most
compelling work of his 30-year career. It stares life’s big issues in the eye,
unflinching and sincere. It rails against injustices and greed in the United
States with unerring ferocity. It confronts the passing years and the prospect
of death Read More
10/08/2008 - |
By Anthony Barnes
US star John Mellencamp today landed the prestigious title of Classic Songwriter
at the 2008 Q Awards with Russian Standard Vodka.
The artist formerly known as Johnny Cougar – who celebrates his 57th birthday
tomorrow (Tuesday) – is best known for his top 30 hit Jack And Diane and has
scored a string of US hits over a 30-year period. They include the huge single
Hurts So Good.
Collecting his award, Mellencamp told guests: “I wrote that song 30 years ago
that Jack and Diane song and people are still playing it. The whole thing about
being a songwriter is to show some humility when you are writing a song you want
something that goes into people’s hearts … I’m still hoping to write that song.”
Last year the title was won by Billy Bragg.
HERE to read the article online.
Bil Read More
10/08/2008 - John Mellencamp's next tour is Australia and New Zealand in November. Stay tuned for future touring updates! Read More
10/07/2008 - Today is John Mellencamp’s birthday! The singer turns 57 and he explained to us
that as great as surviving is, there is more he wants to do.|
“I understand that surviving is a noble cause and I think that’s ok and
that’s fine for guys who want to do that, but if I’m gonna do something, it’s
not so much getting my message or my thoughts out, it’s just trying to get
people to feel good about themselves and come to the conclusion that I’ve come
to is that if you want a better world it starts with you.”
John will be spreading his word Down Under next month. The singer kicks off a
tour of Australia and New Zealand on November 15th.
10/06/2008 - John Mellencamp|
Life Death Love And Freedom
By Paul Ree’s
Among a crop of like minded American singer-songwriters to have emerged in the
‘70’s (Springsteen, Tom Petty, Warren Zevon), John Mellencamp is the forgotten
man over here, and unfairly so. Life Death Love And Freedom (punctuation is for
wimps, apparently) won’t return him to the US chart-topping status he once
enjoyed, but it’s his best work since 1993’s Human Wheels. Like that album it’s
a folksy, melancholy affair, producer T-Bone Burnett bringing the same intimate
feel he gave to Robert Plant and Alison Krauss’s Raising Sand. AS the title
implies, it talks the big issues, sometimes at the expense of melody, but
there’s a handful of very fine songs here.
10/06/2008 - Be sure to visit the PAINTINGS section to see the new paintings just posted in the RECENT PAINTINGS gallery. Read More