Life Death Love and Freedom

Album Review of Life Death Love and Freedom by John Mellencamp.

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Life Death Love and Freedom

John Mellencamp

Life Death Love and Freedom by John Mellencamp

Release Date: Jul 15, 2008
Record label: Hear Music
Genre(s): Rock

71 Music Critic Score
How the Music Critic Score works

Life Death Love and Freedom - Very Good, Based on 4 Critics

NOW Magazine - 80
Based on rating 4/5

JOHN MELLENCAMP Life Death Love And Freedom (Hear Music) Rating: NNNN From the tombstone-grey album cover with John Mellencamp lying back with his eyes shut to lyric musings like "Just put me in a pine box / six feet underground" (from If I Die Sudden), there's a decidedly dark emphasis on the second word in this album's title. It's coaxed out of a solemn Mellencamp incredibly well by iconoclastic producer T Bone Burnett, who gives Life a low, growling rumble with buried weepy slide guitars and touch-soft percussion. Mellencamp sounds grizzled and contemplative about his life and, ever the true American patriot, the unnerving state of his country (Troubled Land).

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Entertainment Weekly - 72
Based on rating B

The onetime Johnny Cougar firmly embraces geezerdom with Life Death Love and Freedom. ”Just put me in a pinebox/Six feet underground!” sings John Mellencamp on ”If I Die Sudden,” one of this album’s slow-burning rockers. And for much of the T Bone Burnett-produced collection, his grizzled vocals seem as if they belong to someone who really is about to shuffle off this mortal coil — which perfectly suits such melancholy tracks as the terrific riffing blues of ”John Cockers” and the Tom Petty-ish ”Troubled Land.” Though he may be contemplating mortality, Mellencamp, with his weathered snarl, still sounds remarkably alive.

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Observer Music Monthly - 60
Based on rating 3/5

He's dropped the 'Cougar' from his name and stripped down his roots rock, gamely trying to out-gruff John Hiatt and out-drawl Steve Earle, with producer T-Bone Burnett in tow. Despite high points – the powerful 'Longest Days'; the romping 'My Sweet Love'; the brooding 'John Cockers' – most of these 14 songs struggle to leave a lasting impression. .

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Paste Magazine
Their review was positive

Rock icon gets candid and melancholic on latest John Mellencamp’s blue-collar rock 'n' roll takes a somber turn on Life Death Love and Freedom, his first album since 2007’s Freedom Road. What a difference one year can make. Tackling some of the same subjects that fueled Freedom Road’s rousing sound, the fifty-six-year-old Mellencamp now pitches his tent closer to home, writing inward-looking songs that reflect his country’s troubles.

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