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08/25/2010 - By Josh Hathaway

John Mellencamp and producer T Bone Burnett team up once again for the follow up to their first collaboration, Life Death Love And Freedom and once again there is a sonic concept. Life DeathÖ was recorded and offered in something of a high-definition audio format developed by Burnett. This set was recorded with the band playing in three historic locations using one vintage microphone. Those three locations? Sun Studios in Memphis, the San Antonio hotel room where Robert Johnson made his first iconic recordings, and the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Ga (the oldest Black church in the US). Click HERE to read the article on the site. Read More
08/25/2010 - Read Keith Phipps' A- review of No Better Than This. Here are some excerpts: "Itís as if Mellencamp expected any residual magic hanging around those locations to rub off on his own music. Thing is, he might have been onto something. The direct, spare No Better Than ThisóMellencamp even eschews stereoóhas a timeless sound and songs that do right by their classic blues, rock, and country inspirations..."

"not just aspiring to sound like the classics that made him love music, but matching them..." Read More
08/25/2010 - Read Hits Daily Double blogger Roy Trakin's full review of No Better Than This. Here is an excerpt: "his album celebrating rockís roots has a real feel of authenticity.."

"Mellencamp has made the kind of late-period album that justifies the auteur theory, offering a career-capping summary which spans from earliest influences to the kind of well-earned craftsmanship that looks back and forward at the same time. ďDonít forget about me,Ē he sings in the song of the same name. Expect No Better Than This to be remembered come Grammy time..."

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08/25/2010 - Read Dan Penman's full review of No Better Than This. Here is an excerpt: Mellencamp's songwriting talent shows no absolutely signs of diminishing. The result is an absolutely timeless album. No Better Than This could literally have been recorded at any time in the last 60 years, and in any era it would have been received as a triumph. Read More
08/24/2010 - Read the full article of The United Kingdom's Sunday Times. Here is an excerpt: "Any American artist pondering how to make their next album more authentic might as well give up now: John Mellencamp has already beaten you to it. All of this would be gimmickry if the music wasn't any good. Fortunately, this low-key, eclectic mix of folk, country and rockabilly styles thoroughly deserves the care taken over its creation." Read More
08/24/2010 - Mellencamp's journey from teen idol to a roots archivist of the Springsteen/Dylan stripe is one of the most fascinating in the last 35 years of American rock. This collection of T Bone Burnett-produced, rough rider acoustic rock and snake blues, is proof positive that maturity gracefully IS possible. Gritty, impassioned and illuminating. Read More
08/23/2010 - Read Mark Jordan's of The Commercial Appeal full No Better Than This feature. Here are some excerpts: "As he craned his neck up toward the single bullet microphone that hovered in the middle of the room, John Mellencamp resembled another singer who had stood on the exact spot at 706 Union more than 50 years earlier..."

"Sure, the Indiana-bred Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is shorter than Elvis Presley, and, at 57, his face showed the wear of 15 years that "The King" of rock and roll never lived to see. But there was a suggestion of Elvis in the sweep of Mellencamp's thick, greasy black hair. And when he and his band launched into the bouncy, mid-tempo rockabilly number "Coming Down the Road," the sound was so instantly familiar you half expected to see Sam and Scotty and Bill in the room as well..." The article includes several photos from the Sun Studio recording session. Read More
08/23/2010 - The Bloomington Herald Times newspaper has a Mellenblog where several Mellencamp fans document and muse about John's career. Read blogger Christine Herndonís thoughtful piece about John's new album No Better Than This. Here is an excerpt: "Iíve always been told that I can express what many of Johnís feel with eloquence, grace, and honesty. I hope this time is no different. His latest release is quite extraordinary and any words used to offer up an opinion should be nothing less than the same." Read More
08/22/2010 - Read Jim Beals' full Mellencamp feature and interview on the making of No Better Than This . Here are some excerpts: "I wasn't in the songwriting mood, but sometimes songs are like monkeys on your back," he said. "Finally I wrote the first song, Save Some Time to Dream. It was simple and to the point and had a beautiful melody. After that, I had to get busy..."

"With these songs, I just let them write themselves. I let the songs present themselves and present themselves in an honest, sincere fashion. So I wanted to record them in an honest fashion, and quickly..." Read More
08/21/2010 - Read Rob Williams' full No Better Than This review. Here are some excerpts: "the process was perfectly suited to the material, a collection of old-timey roots, bluegrass, rockabilly and folk that sounds distinctly like Mellencamp, yet nothing at all like the hit-making blue-collar rocker has ever released before..."

"Mellencamp appears to be following his muse wherever it takes him, and the result is an album that will go down in his personal history as a turning point in his recording career..." Read More
08/20/2010 - On ďNo Better Than This,Ē a lonesome tumbleweed of an album, he beats the Dust Bowl revivalists at their own game..."

"Heís always been able to bring down-and-out Everyman characters to life, and heís outdone himself here.."

"Itís the veteran rocker at his finest, squeezing some hard-won wisdom out of trying times..." Read More
08/19/2010 - Read full review of No Better Than This. Here are some excerpts: "Itís a collection of songs that feels like the record the kid who used to be called Cougar always wanted to make. .."

"and itís as successful as it is refreshing. The songs rely completely on his confidence and ability to write and sing, avoiding the temptation to add the unnecessary.."
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08/19/2010 - Read Robbie Gerson of Audiophile Audition full review of No Better Than This. Here are come excerpts: "His music can be grandiose or minimalist, but the universal themes of family, country, love and politics are very complex and layered..."

"Recorded with a fifty-five-year-old Ampex 601 reel-to-reel tape recorder and one vintage microphone, the band creates a guitar-driven, austere sound, with a live feel. The gritty acoustics are effective and enhance the lyrical verve..."

"No Better Than This is destined to be an American classic..." Read More
08/18/2010 - Read Rick Moore's of American Songwriter full review of No Better Than This. Here are some excerpts: "he wasnít going away no matter how sick you were of ďJack and Diane,Ē and that he was the real deal: A midwestern farm town boy who was just as passionate about rock Ďní roll and acoustic music as he was about the rural way of life, and didnít care who agreed with him..."

"it doesnít get much more real than this..."

"Very little of this album pays attention to convention, which makes it that much more of a delight to listen to and support. At the end of the day, No Better Than This, like most everything else John Mellencamp has done, is about the human spirit. Itís about people, and Mellencamp continues to write and sing about them better and better with each passing year..." Read More
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