Clark Collis
July 11, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Life Death Love and Freedom

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
John Mellencamp
genre
Rock

We gave it a 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. B
DOWNLOAD THIS: Hear a preview of ”John Cockers” at Club Cherry Bomb: the Official John Mellencamp Fan Club

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