John Mellencamp

Lead Performer: John Mellencamp

Less a visionary than a tenacious hard worker, John Mellencamp is most compelling when his hard-headed sense of decency allows him to triumph over his artistic limitations. That’s frequently the case on this uneven but largely rewarding effort, on which the uncharacteristically baroque arrangements provide an appropriate framework for the compassionate portrayals of disappointment and survival. B

Originally posted October 16 1998 — 12:00 AM EDT

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