Some serious fun from Indiana
Blair G. Helsing | San Francisco, CA | 08/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"12 years on, this album continues to entertain and move me. Most of the Mellencamp songs I like in his catalog are interspersed through the years. However this album is a concentrated dose of songs that grab me through great songwriting, vocal performances, the drums and percussion of Kenny Aronoff, the sound of the band, and the (sometimes implied) revealing of human hopes and failings. The characters and points-of-view throughout the album have vulnerability written all over them, in a most beautiful way. Not leaving off the humor and good times that you hear in "French Shoes" and elsewhere. I liked the video for the title track very much too. I've read interviews where Mellencamp states this is one of his favorite works and I strongly agree with him."
Mellencamp's Finest Original Album
J. Martin | Pittsburgh, PA | 02/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mellencamp's finest original album - invest your $$ on this album and it will pay dividends for years to come - you will not be disappointed"
The Best Of A Great Career
John Murray | Fredericton, NB, Canada | 08/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mellencamp had gone through a significant number of ups and downs in his career to this point. He had worked hard to become a big star and arrived as a pop rock star in the early 80's, and progressed to being a working man's hero by the latter part of the decade. But as the 90's began his marriage broke up and his commercial dominance had become inconsistent. He was still a favorite of rock radio, but rock was turning to younger, darker acts. Into this moment came one of Mellencamp's best phases as an artist - when he became pessimistic of society's expectations and on "Human Wheels" he turns to biting, direct and pronounced commentary - picking on Christianity ("When Jesus Left Birmingham"), the isolation of the working man from society ("Junior"), social work ("Case 795"), service and social clubs ("Beige to Beige"), and the pain of aging ("Sweet Evening Breeze"). And through it all, he conducts his attacks with all of the rocking enthusiasm he'd given us for the past 15 years. The former Cougar is a special, enduring artist and "Human Wheels" is the moment that he reaches out, shakes you by the scruff of your neck and tells you that you'd better be listening close. And that's just why any real artist records...to be heard when there's a lot to be said."