Cuttin' Heads

Lead Performer: John Mellencamp

Who says rock stars can’t improve with age? Mellencamp’s writing has gotten better in precise proportion to his advancing years and declining commercial clout. His sense of character, word choice, and candor keep progressing, and he hasn’t lost any of his original skill for melodies and riffs. From his knowing meditation on American isolationism (”Crazy Island”) to his failure in relationships (”Women Seem”), Mellencamp sounds like he’s just hitting his stride.

Originally posted October 19 2001 — 12:00 AM EDT

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