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
10/06/2008 - John Mellencamp was awarded Q Magazine’s prestigious “Classic Songwriter” title at today’s star-studded 2008 Q Awards with Russian Standard Vodka presentation at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.|
The award was presented personally by Q editor Paul Rees.
Best known in the U.K. for “Jack and Diane,” Mellencamp said in his acceptance speech, “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!”
The title places Mellencamp in celebrated company. Billy Bragg won it last year, and previous winners include Elton John and Noel Gallagher of Oasis. Additionally, Mellencamp was in a group of other Q Award winners including Coldplay (Best Act in the World), Grace Jones (Q Legend), Adam Ant (Q Icon) and Glen Campbell (Q Legend).
Mellencamp, along with Coldplay a Read More
10/05/2008 - |
Life Death Love And Freedom
By Adam Sweeting
Springsteen school graduate excels with scary country sound
This bracingly raw set of fables finds the Indiana balladeer digging
deeper into the country-blues roots he finds increasingly fascinating, so
potently that it's like time-traveling back to the depression and Roosevelt's
New Deal. Mellencamp uses traditional forms and mostly acoustic instruments, but
his messages are contemporary. ("Foundation is crumbling, the inner structure's
gone"), and his songs about death and doubt carry a chilling ring of
authenticity. In "Longest Days", he's written one of the most harrowing
songs about age and disillusion you'll ever hear. Bleak but brilliant. Read More
10/05/2008 - |
Life, Death, Love And Freedom
Proper Indianan Hoosier Mellencamp shows his darker and fiery roots.
Several major health problems, four marriages and 23 albums, Mellencamp might
actually win major original artist status by the time he's 60 (in three year's
time). Last year he was still heartland-rocky enough to sell a track for a Chevy
TV ad, but only the Undertakers of America will see synergy in this one.
Amid producer T Bone Burnett's open prairie sound and aptly distorted
guitar moods, Mellencamp croaks a sequence of raw, all but nihilistic yet far
from self-pitying first person tales about well, death mainly, leavened by the
odd rather forlorn reference to the life, love, and freedom elements of the
title. As one of his grimly ancient narrators opines in Don't Need This Body,
"This getting older/Ain't for cowards.", Rock 'n' Roll truth spans the
generations. Has to. Comes with a free DVD versio Read More