Blurt Magazine LDL&F Album Review

John Mellencamp
Life, Death, Love And Freedom
Hear Music
By Jake Cline

An album titled Life Death Love and Freedom should be approached with much trepidation, doubly so if said album is by John Mellencamp, who gave up singing little ditties about young, Heartland lovers in favor of large, flag-waving jingles about Chevy trucks. So it’s no great surprise to discover how soberly Mellencamp tackles the big issues raised in the album’s title. (Presumably, he thought Life Death Love Freedom and Taxes would be pushing it.) It is, however, something of a mild shock to find how good this album actually is.

Produced by the ubiquitous T Bone Burnett, the disc is decidedly low-key, with understated guitars and organs complementing the singer’s morbid, reflective lyrics. “Life is short even in its longest days,” Mellencamp intones, and he ain’t kidding. When he’s not staring down the Reaper, Mellencamp proves he’s still a man of the people, as on the topical “Jena” and the jaded but rewarding “My Sweet Love.”

Standout Tracks: “My Sweet Love,” “If I Die Sudden”

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