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08/18/2010 - Read Jeff Niesel's full review of No Better Than This. Here are some excerpts: Stripped-down songs..."

"sound like they come from another era..." -

"There’s a real sense of joy to No Better Than This..." Read More
08/18/2010 - Read Rod Lockwood of PopMatters.com full review. Here are some excerpts: No Better Than This is something for which Mellencamp was long overdue: a defining album that resets his creative clock and reminds everyone how great a songwriter and musician that he really is. Because this..."

"is truly brilliant and it’s as good as anything he’s ever released, which is saying a lot..."

"What makes No Better Than This so great is its consistency and artistic commitment..." Read More
08/18/2010 - Read R.M. Engelman's full review of No Better Than This. Here are some excerpts: "When you discuss modern musical storytellers, it’s a short list of artists like Dylan, Bruce, Neil Young, Tom Waits, and John Mellancamp. No Better Than This, his 25th release, is his interpretation of the music that inspired him..."

"The disc has an eerie, but cool sound to it. It does remind you of newly discovered tapes of a blues artist made decades ago, acoustic guitar, a speck of fiddle, minimal drums and bass effects..."

"It’s unique, a bit spooky, and as advertised, maybe a little haunted. It makes you tap along with it; it somehow takes over your available brain space. You start to play it repeatedly. How can U resist? Read More
08/17/2010 - Read Brian Robbins of Jambands.com full review. Here are some excerpts: "if heart, soul, sweat, tears, and blood – along with vibe, groove, kick, honk, and holler – account for anything, No Better Than This deserves to be on this year’s Americana “best-of” lists, for sure..."

"that there was nothing automatic about me liking John Mellencamp’s new No Better Than This album. He was going to have to earn it..."

"Well, by Jesus, he did..." - "nothing short of goddamn magic..."

"13 original tunes that feel like soundtracks to stories John Steinbeck never got to write about raggedy-ass faith, love, loss, and life..." Read More
08/17/2010 - Read Michael Fremer's full review of No Better Than This. Here are some excerpts: "There's really not a weak tune on this remarkable album that uses well and does not abuse the retro-technology. The recording quality is state-of-the art 1955 as is the songwriting and playing.."

"there's an organic wholeness to the outcome that you simply couldn't achieve any other way..."

"This phase of Mr. Mellencamp's career is probably his finest..." Read More
08/17/2010 - Read Jonathan Keefe's of Slant Magazine full review of No Better Than This. Here are some excerpts: "His songs have always conveyed a rural-minded brand of populism, and his latest album, No Better Than This, continues his evolution into a modern-day folk hero. The record also happens to be one of the most focused, tightly written sets of Mellencamp's career..."

"No Better Than This works as well as it does because it plays to Mellencamp's strengths. His genuine empathy for rural living and his occasional hell-raising both come through in equal measure. And despite the heavy blues influence that Burnett brings to the project, it's still obvious that Mellencamp has the heart of a folk singer. It's the tension and the cooperation among those competing forces that makes Mellencamp's 25th album one of his finest..." Read More
08/17/2010 - Before 1985's Scarecrow, John Mellencamp had his band learn dozens of '60s rock classics note for note. Twenty-five years later, he and producer T Bone Burnett traveled to historic spaces — including locations where Robert Johnson and Elvis Presley recorded their first sides — to cut rockabilly and country-blues period pieces. "It's not my nature to be nostalgic at all," Mellencamp sings on Thinking About You. These songs speak from an awareness of the past, not a desire to relive it.

Download: Save Some Time to Dream, No Better Than This
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08/17/2010 - Read Josh Hurst's full review of No Better Than This . Here are some excerpts: "Rather than ending up as gimmicks, the unusual production methods have instead yielded an album that doesn’t settle for imitation, but literally goes to the source of American roots music. This isn’t an approximation of vintage Americana; it’s actually caked in the very same red dirt and clay..."

"it is disarming in its simplicity, and authentic in a way that no recent approximations of old American folk and blues have been. And yet, by its very virtue of being American music, it is broad, deep, and at times contradictory; it’s tough yet sensitive, rooted in the past yet shunning nostalgia, caked in dirt and mire yet transcendentally beautiful at the same time. Mellencamp and Burnett do not use those American landmarks as mere gimmicks; they earn their own place in those American legends..." Read More
08/17/2010 - "Mellencamp and producer T Bone Burnett made an authentic folk, rockabilly and blues-infused album just like the good old days..."

"The highly impressive results are like taking a trip through a time warp..." Read More
08/17/2010 - Read Todd Martens of the Los Angeles Times Music Blog full review of No Better Than This . Here are some excerpts: "The John Mellencamp of “No Better Than This” is not the John Mellencamp that most would expect..."

"the sound of long-lost first takes from another era..." Read More
08/17/2010 - Read Jim Beal's full review of No Better Than This . Here are some excerpts: "The result is a powerful collection of heartfelt, no punches pulled songs recorded on vintage gear by Mellencamp, a small cast of first-class acoustic players and producer T Bone Burnett..."

"Mellencamp means what he writes and sings and writes and sings what he means..."

"smart, soulful and moving music..." Read More
08/17/2010 - Ready David Burger's review of No Better Than This

On his 25th album “No Better Than This,” John Mellencamp proves that he’s getting better and better, stripping away the cliches that marred his earlier lyrics.

This haunting Americana album — filled with rockabilly, blues and gospel — was recorded on a 55-year-old tape recorder.

Mellencamp’s band recorded original songs about hope, family and faith at culturally significant places such as room 414 of San Antonio’s Gunter Hotel, where Robert Johnson recorded “Stones in My Passway” in 1936. Read More
08/17/2010 - Read Jonathan Takiff's of the Philadelphia Daily News full review of No Better Than This. Here are some excerpts: "so stark, so primitive you might think it's recovered treasure from the 1950s..."

"the set is especially ripe with got-to-smile-to-keep-from-crying tunes tossed off with a casual demeanor and sonic quality to match..." Read More
08/17/2010 - Read Edna Gundersen of USA Today's feature about No Better Than This. Here are some excerpts: "musical storytelling for hard times: far-fetched, violent, sexy, played for laughs. It doesn't get more timeless, or American, than that."

"wise, charming album is ... a highly personal testimonial.." Read More
08/17/2010 - Read Dan Aquilante's full review of No Better Than This. Here are some excerpts: "record’s aged quality lies in Mellencamp’s grit ’n’ gravel vocals and his lyrics, which seem to have built-in workingman folk wisdom.."

"these old-fashioned songs and the retro recording treatment — not to mention all the ghosts — give this disc a vibe of Americana authenticity..." Read More
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