THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME ... ALMOST.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'The Kid Inside', 1977, was the up and coming shape of things to come. Not even John saw what the future was going to bring, but he sure knew that the present sucked back then and it was the nature of the album. John was extremely proud of this album upon it's supposed release, which lied in the hands of the records company's coin toss. John lost. And the hidious album cover of the victimized kid in the bathroom all wet must've been the shot to the balls that John took with somewhat of a cuss and a spit and maybe even a violent temper tandrum that exacted his nickname, Little Bastard. But, when you pull the vinyl 33 out of the big old album sleeve, because the CD has a lot to be desired compared to the original record, you immediately hear the David Bowie in John growling, in "American Son".(The title in itself is proof of things to come). You fing a mellow but very 70's glam-ish, ala Jefferson Airplane, in the song, "Young Genocide". But the real jewel in this collection of rip-offs and fine art of the humble and angry (Yes!! Rip-offs!!), is the tender and passionate story of small town life, eight years before it was fashionable. "Sidewalks and Streetlights" is when you know from the bottom of you heart that John Mellencamp was honest, sincere and just trying to get a break but only got sh** kicked in his face and then laughed at. "Sidewalks" is the pure undying fashion of what we all, as Mellencamp fans, would grow to love and expect. Although "Pink Houses" and "Small Town" are honest and real, "Sidewalks" possess one thing those two songs do not. Struggle within one's self to be what he thought would never happen. So, he pissed in the wind and threw the song out there on vinyl with pride and passion and then went on his way. Now, he's not running anymore. 'The Kid Inside' must've been the first time he ran. It's not a flawless record, and certainly not as monumental as the debut 1975 record, but it was the start of something big before anyone saw it, felt it, realised it or even wanted it. It gets 5 stars because when legends record whatever they can, it shows they are not as big as we think they are. John is just a guy. A guy with a better / worst past than most of us."