Life, Death, Love and Freedom

Studio Album by released in 2008

Life, Death, Love and Freedom review

Full of life wisdom John Cougar Mellencamp

American rocker John Cougar Mellencamp has lived an interesting and full of events life - by his fifty-six years, he traveled along all the USA and visited several other countries, released more than twenty albums, was married three times, managed to recover after a heart attack and make a triumphant come back on the big scene. Well, Mellencamp's life has always been energetic, which found a reflection in the deep lyrics of his songs. Although the author himself always tired to be as close to the people as possible - it can be seen in such his hits as Our Country and Pink Houses - and wrote songs for average Americans, "plainly" never met "primitively" in his case. Aging, Mellencamp elaborated his style in order to explain complicated, sometimes philosophic thoughts through everyday words. That is why his last albums are a constant success - even the use of his song Our Country in the advertisement did not ruin the authority of the famous singer. On his new long-play Life, Death, Love, And Freedom the artist decided to summarize the experience of his life and sing about the things he cares for. He is pictured to the listeners as the experienced and wise man, who is even tired. His speculations are full of melancholy and sorrow.

Speculations on Life, Death, Love, And Freedom

Every song on this album is the stream of thoughts by John Cougar Mellencamp on this or that topic. It should be noticed that the singer shoes difficult things to sing about. The album Life, Death, Love, And Freedom is opened by the track Longest Days, which is an improvisation on the theme of solitary in the manner of Bruce Springsteen. The creativity of both these artists really has several common points - no surprise, the singers were constantly compared to each other on the eve of Mellencamp's career, when he was promoted as simply John Cougar. The tuneful ballad My Sweet Love about the fragility of relations is the spot of bright color along the other disc compositions that are overwhelmingly dark. John’s vocals acquired more deepness and charm when the singer aged, and his voice contributes to the song's intimacy. Bluesy melody If I Die Sudden became the piercing speculation of the artist about age - he was definitely inspired for it by the survived heart attack. Troubled Land is a dramatic composition, dedicated to the musician's native country. In this song, Mellencamp masterfully tells about the darker side of the American Dream, devoid of the blind illusions. Jena song about racial conflicts resonated in the USA - the mayor of Jena, Louisiana, where the infamous Jena 6 conflict took place, even made an official statement that the singer disclosed the matter unfairly in his track. A Brand New Song, the melancholic folk-composition, closes the disc with the author's conclusions that are no ways soothing.

The strongest and the most mature work by the artist

John Cougar Mellencamp labored on this disc with guitarist and producer T-Bone Burnett, who is credited for the last creation by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. The thick sound of acoustic guitars on Life, Death, Love, And Freedom was added by accordion, excellent bass line, reach vocal harmonies by Mellencamp in an extremely stylish way. The resulting product is dynamic and interesting - there is no doubt, that the collaboration of the artists was fruitful, while the long-play itself acquired the unexpected freshness due to the inclusion of folk and blues elements to the classical rock by John. As the acknowledged singer-songwriter, John was a success too, Although texts on Life, Death, Love, And Freedom are mainly dark and sometimes even filled with bitter sarcasm, the author's talent of lyricist was fully realized. This mature disc has one important characteristic: if on his previous works Mellencamp sang primarily about average American farmers, posing himself as the rocker from the people, on Life, Death, Love, And Freedom he concentrates on his own fate and tells the listener about his life experience. Actually, themes, on which the singer ponders on the album, are reminiscent of the early albums by Bob Dylan - with the difference that Dylan sang about imaginary things, while Mellencamp made a retrospective summary of his way on this long-play.