(From New Straits Times (Malaysia))
JOHN MELLENCAMP: Trouble No More (Columbia) It's hard to take John Mellencamp out of context. Whether he's suited up or garbed in faded jeans and a tee, his Appalachian roots ring out loudly.
On this album of covers, he wears his heartland roots as a badge of pride, getting loose and greasy and singing of romantic desire and disillusionment with an equal measure of grit and unpredictability. Mixing a bunch of classic blues and folk songs - from Lucinda Williams, Hoagy Carmichael, Robert Johnson and Son House - he indents them with scholarly passion: a Master's in rhythm, a minor in soul, and a Ph. D in the blues.
Mellencamp obviously didn't cut classes in other subjects, either, such as straight-ahead boogie and gospel-soul. Throughout, his ripsaw vocals hang heavy with experience matched by the sparse arrangements, most of which focus on Andy York's Delta-derived slide guitar that cuts like a laser …