Search - John Mellencamp :: Freedom's Road

Freedom's Road
John Mellencamp
Freedom's Road
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
 
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

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All Artists: John Mellencamp
Title: Freedom's Road
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Universal Republic
Original Release Date: 1/1/2007
Re-Release Date: 1/23/2007
Genres: Pop, Rock, Metal
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Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 602517180062, 0602517234468, 060251723446

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Member CD Reviews

Melanie W. (novelwriter) from SURFSIDE BCH, SC
Reviewed on 12/13/2007...
I got this as an early Christmas present from a friend of mine. This is a very good cd. I like the acoustic feel of it and it hasn't lost the Mellencap style of songs.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

CD Reviews

Follow "Freedom's Road" to Mellencamp's house.
P. J. | Olathe, KS USA | 01/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Freedom's Road is an unparalleled assembly of musical masterpieces. John Mellencamp has never made "the same record" twice regarding sound and style. He holds true and stays the course with this release. While the "Cougar" fans may have stopped buying Mellencamp's releases some time ago, it is their loss that is most sad. John's songwriting did not even begin to peak until "Mr. Happy Go Lucky" in the mid/late '90's. Amazingly, that is 10 years ago. Mellencamp has been writing fresh, meaningful songs since then. However, some may say that as well-written as the songs were, they were lacking something. If that is true, John has discovered what was needed. It is the good ol' garage band rock-n-roll jam session sound that he brings to this party. Guitars cranking, challenging if not controversial lyrics, catchy hooks and beats, and superb band support. Throw all of that in with the backing vocals of the very talented Little Big Town throughout and you have the best Mellencamp release since the Cougar-Mellencamp days of the mid-late 80's. Most striking to me personally is that John is sending out his feelings and observations through incredibly catchy tunes. Highpoints are "The Americans" and "Someday" as likely radio hits. Tremendous album cuts include "Ghost Towns Along The Highway", "Forgiveness", and "My Aeroplane." By the way, if you think that "Our Country" is a tired old truck ad, think again. The song merits a full listen. I highly recommend Freedom's Road to any rock music fan. I challenge anyone willing to step up to the plate and at the very least question the state of our country. John Mellencamp has. Freedom's Road is a 5 star release that will have you strumming the guitars and pounding the drums of your imagination."
Yes, This ROAD Has Some Ruts, But It's Mostly Smooth Sailing
Jef Fazekas | Newport Beach, California United States | 03/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"While there may be some bumps along the way (cliched lyrics, underdeveloped melodies), John Mellencamp's new FREEDOM'S ROAD is a welcomed addition to an already sterling catalog. Not as strong as, say, SCARECROW, THE LONESOME JUBILEE, HUMAN WHEELS or MR. HAPPY GO LUCKY, but certainly better than DANCE NAKED and WHENEVER WE WANTED, the disc, for the most part, successfully showcases many of Mellencamp's strong points, as well as a few of his weaker ones. Things kick off with the easy, yet edgy, groove of "Someday", a classic JM cut. Awash in crisp instrumentation, a powerful lead vocal and soaring backing vocals, the track wraps around the pointed lyrics ("How many times can a spirit be broken/For this is the kingdom of heaven we're given/Good fortune will come to those who create peace") and doesn't let go. A great album opener! The same can be said for "Ghost Towns Along The Highway", which has an almost eerie, airy vibe to it. As Mellencamp questions whether Americans are being displaced against their will, or it's just their nature to roam, an angelic chorus chimes in, adding a touch of sorrow to this wistful, albeit powerful, track. Not as strong is "The Americans." Mellencamp has always been at his best when his music just seems to flow out of him. Conversely, he's at his worst when it seems forced. "The Americans" definitely seems forced, what with it's cliched lyrics and "been-there, done-that" melody....you know he's trying to "say" something, but what? Is it a simple, honest statement? Is he being condesending? Is he masking his true feelings? All in all, "The Americans" just doesn't gel the way Mellencamp's best material usually does. Far and away superior is the lovely "Forgiveness," probably the album's strongest cut. Cushioned by a muted, simple arrangement, Mellencamp bares his soul like rarely before: "When I think of all the wrong I've done/I can't believe it's me I'm talking about/I bet the same goes for you." Such naked honesty is to be applauded, as is the sentiment - no flowery prose or wisely rhymed couplet, just the truth, spoken/sung from the heart. Without a doubt, "Forgiveness" ranks as one of Mellencamp's Top Ten best songs....ever! Next up is the disc's cryptic title track. Mellencamp makes it very clear that there's evil and good, right and wrong, but he never comes across as preachy. Augmented by John Gunnell's killer bass riffs, the cut is another strong addition to the disc. Musically, "Jim Crow" is both captivating and hypnotic, but lyrically it once again seems forced, like Mellencamp is TRYING to make a point. Actually, if any real point is made, it's how well Mellencamp handles himself with a female duet partner; in the past, it's been with the likes of Rickie Lee Jones, Trisha Yearwood and Me'shell Ndegeocello...here it's Joan Baez. There's just something about the timbre of his voice that works so well with a female counterpoint. I, for one, wouldn't mind seeing at least one female guest star on any and all future releases! Heck, I'd even go for an album of duets! You have to sit down with the lyrics to "Our Country" to really appreciate it, and to realize it's so much more than just a "car commercial" ditty. Among jangling guitars and sweeping choruses, Mellencamp addesses America, in all it's wonder and warts, beauty and bile. Things aren't perfect, but the dream is still alive, and that's all that matters. "Rural Route" has a sort of Southern Gothic vibe to it, all spooky and sinister. The sparse arrangement snakes around the dark lyrics ("Air stinks of crystal meth/On the rural route/Someone predicts a young girl's death/On the rural route/Father refuses to answer any questions/From the rural route"), resulting in a tale and a song that is chilling, mesmerizing and tuneful all at the same time. THAT'S class-A songwriting! "My Aeroplane" is FREEDOM'S ROAD's most care-free number, all groovy garage band instrumentation and smiley-faced lyrics. Thing is, it works! The album wraps up with "Heaven Is A Lonely Place" and the hidden track "Rodeo Clown." "Heaven...." has a killer retro feel to it - dig the guitars! - and sharp lyrics, while "Rodeo Clown" is the disc's most politically charged cut. Sadly, it stands out like a sore thumb, not really fitting in here. I'd wager this is one of the songs from an earlier disc - circa 2005 - that Mellencamp shelved because it was too political. I'm sure a number of FREEDOM ROAD's tracks were taken from that scrapped effort, with new ones written and added later on, which at times gives the album a slightly schizo, two-albums-in-one feel. However, I'm just glad to have John Mellencamp recording again, something he said he might stop doing because he didn't think anyone was listening any more. Forget that, John - after almost 30 years, you're still writing "a song that everybody could sing along!" (As with all my reviews, I have to dock the disc half a star for not including the lyrics)."