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Life Death Love and Freedom

Life Death Love and Freedom by John Mellencamp
Released: Jul 2008
On the opening track of his 20th album, John Mellencamp woefully muses, "Sometimes you get sick / And you don't get better." And it's that kind of festive attitude that permeates the haunted Life Death..., an album that could be considered the Hoosier troubadour's Ghost of Tom Joad. The tracks vary from mournful acoustic numbers to muted folk-rock, both specialties of the record's producer, T-Bone Burnett. Thematically, Mellencamp keeps it on the dark end of the street, dealing with mortality and racism (such as on the Jena 6 ode "Jena").
Chris Ryan