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12/23/2008 - Variety.com writer Phil Gallo places John’s 2008 release “Life, Death, Love and Freedom” at #7 on his list of “50 albums released in ’08 that I am glad are in my collection.” Click HERE, to see his full list. Read More
12/19/2008 - Buffalo News writer Jeff Miers praises John’s most recent album on his year end list:

John Mellencamp, “Life Death Love & Freedom” (Hear Music): Mellencamp is at his best when fueled by righteous anger. Here, the sympathetic production afforded by T-Bone Burnett helps to craft an instant classic.
Click HERE to read this article online. Read More
12/10/2008 - Rolling Stone magazine’s new year-end double-issue cites “Life, Death, Love & Freedom” as the #5 album of 2008.

The December 25th issue, which features Brad Pitt on the cover, places the critically acclaimed John Mellencamp album just behind My Morning Jacket’s “Evil Urges.” The top three spots are taken by TV on the Radio’s “Dear Science,” Bob Dylan’s “The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8: Tell Tale Signs - Rare and Unreleased 1989-2006” and Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III.”

“John Mellencamp’s growling fatalism and T Bone Burnett’s scorched-blues production make this the darkest, most compelling Mellencamp album in years,” said Rolling Stone in the blurb accompanying its prestigious 50 Best Albums of 2008 listing. “It is also the perfect run-up to Election Day: Fourteen songs about a nation going broke and a generation on the ropes.”

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12/06/2008 - “If you are a Mellencamp fan, don’t rely on dropping hints for Christmas presents go buy it for yourself. It will be the best musical investment you have made in years."

Life Death Love & Freedom - Article By: Henrie Geyser

Not all good things take time. John Mellencamp spent just 12 months recording what is probably his best ever album.

If you thought his 2007 effort 'Freedom Road' was great, wait until you hear him on 'Life Death Love and Freedom' — the man and his music are simply brilliant.

For most of the songs he has taken a few steps back in time to good old roots rock ‘n roll which is a perfect match for his raspy, drawling style.

But don’t expect pounding, blaring, jiving rock. This is bluesy country stuff — honest, sad, even dark and sombre at times and superbly set against the background of acoustic guitar, the likes of which I have not heard in years.

Mellencamp is an accomplished songwriter and musi Read More
12/05/2008 - This Is Your Life - By David Vienna

John Mellencamp made his career on straight-up rockers peppered with good, old fashioned political statements, although with a strictly Midwestern flavor. On Life, Death, Love and Freedom, the sound learns more toward gritty southern blues, with hints of gospel organ on songs like “Troubled Land” and bluegrass fiddle on tracks such as “John Cockers.” Produced by T. Bone Burnett, the man behind the wildly successful soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the album utilizes the XOΔE (CODE) system, which creates high-definition audio, nearly identical to the sound on the original master tapes.

The blind hope in Mellencamp’s previous hits is replaced with a mature, road-weary nostalgia. In the duet “A Ride Back Home,” he sings of being beaten down after a life of fighting for what he thinks is right. Despite the regret expressed in the songs, this is not a sad album. The entire collection has the feel of a great Read More
11/22/2008 - No. 38 John Mellencamp - Life Death Love and Freedom Universal

John Mellencamp has been making fine roots-rock albums for more than 20 years, and pairing him here with T-Bone Burnett proved an inspired move. Life Death Love and Freedom explores the same adult themes as its title across skeletal ballads (Young Without Lovers) and spare shuffles (John Cockers). Mellencamp’s 60-cigs-a-day voice is the constant thread on this haunting exploration of the human condition.

Key Track: My Sweet Love

Click HERE for the full list of Q’s Top 50 Albums of 2008.
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11/21/2008 - 4 Stars - Here’s an artist who has regularly found favour over the years in this particular quarter, being the mid-western equivalent of Bruce Springsteen, advocating for the downtrodden and desperate losers of society. It’s a natural fit for Mellencamp, who’s had to fight for his artistic freedom on more than one occasion over the span of his career. It’s a style that has worked well over time, but on Life Death Love And Freedom it’s Mellencamp himself who’s the subject for the majority of the songs and, quite frankly, at times things get somewhat sticky. Make no mistake here, he’s an artist of the first order and a perfectionist for getting the sound that he wants; you can’t fault the production values herein. It’s that there’s something uncomfortable about listening to the self-doubts and confessed frailties of a reputable fighter such as Mellencamp. Maybe it’s just a bit disconcerting to see/hear the innermost human facets of his life? Whatever the reason(s), the man has earned the right to sing what he w Read More
11/14/2008 - John Mellencamp-Live Death Love And Freedom (Hear Music) B

It takes a couple of listens to truly hear this new album from America's last true rock troubadour, John Mellencamp, but it's worth the effort. Mellencamp has long since stopped trying to hit the charts as he used to regularly do with some ease all those years ago. Now he's satisfied singing about growing older, love between two people that really lasts and his views on being a conscious person in his time left on Earth. Without a hint of irony, he relays these tales with a journeyperson's deft touch and his band is right there with him, along with respected album producer T. Bone Burnett. Well worth a listen.
— Jeff Monk
Click HERE to read this article online.
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11/11/2008 - Elmore, November/December 2008

JOHN MELLENCAMP
Life Death Love and Freedom
(Hear Music)

If you’re musically aware enough to be reading this magazine, then you don’t need an introductory bio on John Mellencamp, but what may come in handy before listening to Mellencamp’s latest release, Life Death Love and Freedom, is an explanation of where he is coming from in releasing such an incredibly deep and personal CD. Mellencamp has always provided beautifully descriptive insights into everyday life and the heart of rural America. Now he is applying that same depth to his personal world, which (especially for those of us not too far behind him in age) can leave you with a foreboding feeling of doom, unless you listen to it carefully enough to hear the glimmers of hope that lie beneath the seemingly relentless tales of misery.

With lyrics like “sometimes you get sick and you don’t get better” from the opener “Longest Days,” it is vividly clear that you won Read More
11/02/2008 - John's two appearances on Good Morning America last week are available for online viewing. The Saturday piece featured a very cool interview with John, taped at his Belmont Mall studio as well as touring around Bloomington IN, with host Kate Snow.

Watch on ABCNews' website - Click HERE
Watch on YouTube - Click HERE
Read article based on John's interview - Click HERE
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10/30/2008 - "Good Morning America" had interviews with Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Sarah Palin on Thursday morning. But John Mellencamp may have made the most forceful comments -- in song and word -- as the ABC program visited Orlando's Church Street Station.

Mellencamp sang "Troubled Land" and "Pink Houses" at the Cheyenne Saloon. Chris Cuomo of "GMA" told Mellencamp that "Pink Houses" was as relevant when the singer wrote it years ago.

"I'm just trying to do my part, you know, trying to say something that might mean something to somebody and make people feel good about themselves," Mellencamp said.

Asked about the timely lyrics, Mellencamp said, "The American Dream has kind of been hidden lately. So I think that it's time for hard-working people to be able to earn a decent wage and realize their dreams. That's what this country was founded on. I believe in the First Amendment, and I believe in hard-working people."

The crowd at the Read More
10/14/2008 -
Written by K L Poore

Overall rating: (weighted) 5.0
Performance: 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.
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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
10/06/2008 - John Mellencamp
Life Death Love And Freedom
3 stars
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.

Download: Jena
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