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Albums Reviews

John Mellencamp

[Reissue] On the Rural Route 7609
[Four stars]

Jul 10, 2010

These four CDs come in a hardcover book with the heft and texture of a Dust Bowl-family photo album. The setting suits the purpose. This is a study in storytelling ”“ Mellencamp’s drive to probe and capture, with folk grit and a great rock band, the gross injustices and precious victories of American life. The hits come with context: ”˜Jack and Diane’ appears with two formative demos. But there is more emphasis on honoring, in songs like “Rural Route” and “Ghost Towns Along the Highway,” the Woody Guthrie ideal: a melody and truth to move the world.

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