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The Plain Spoken John Mellencamp

September 25th, 2014

Lots of artists these days, 30+ years into their career as rock star, are putting out albums that sound like mediocre versions of their last good album – or worse, mediocre versions of the album after their last good album. John Mellencamp, nee Cougar, isn’t one of them.plain_spoken_album_artwork

Mellencamp is, and always has been, a storyteller. His new album, Plain Spoken, released on Tuesday at the usual outlets, is proof of this. The ten songs set is a collection of vignettes told in the classic John Mellencamp style. However, while Mellencamp can hardly help but sound like himself after 22 albums, Plain Spoken does not sound like a rehash of previous efforts.

There’s no A-1 songs on Plain Spoken, no Jack and Dianne or Cherry Bomb, no Key West Intermezzo, not even a Walk Tall. But there’s also no dogs here. It’s an album of those second tier songs that dominate Mellencamp’s albums, good songs, maybe a few that could crack the old top 30 charts, but no big hits, no song to make you stop dead in your tracks. Just good solid songs, written by a master storyteller. Nothing at all wrong with that.


  1. Troubled Man
  2. Sometimes There’s God
  3. The Isolation of Mister
  4. The Company of Cowards
  5. Tears in Vain
  6. The Brass Ring
  7. Freedom of Speech
  8. Blue Charlotte
  9. The Courtesy of Kings
  10. Lawless Times

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