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Author Topic: Plain Spoken Reviews  (Read 13140 times)
WildNight
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« on: September 23, 2014, 10:56:17 pm »

I am shocked this album isn't getting higher reviews as of now.

3.5 stars from allmusic.com, thats lower than Cuttin Heads and No Better Than This.

3.5 stars from Rolling Stone... tired of Rolling Stone giving every album he makes a 3.5 (the last 3 have all been 3.5). Rolling Stone doesn't even offer anything more than a generic review on the album. This is the same Rolling Stone that just gave U2's (very weak) new album a 5.

6/10 from TeamRock.com.
http://www.teamrock.com/reviews/2014-09-23/john-mellencamp-plain-spoken
This one really irritates me because of what is said in the review:
"He addresses social issues, as is his wont. He’s been paying attention to the news. Less universal perhaps is a dig at digital downloading as theft, but this self-regarding sidestep is redeemed by the touching Blue Charlotte, written from the perspective of a man watching his wife dying. Sometimes There’s God cleverly straddles the divide between religious faith and scepticism (it’s all in the “sometimes”), while Tears In Vain – relatively candidly – deals with his own acrimonious 2011 divorce after eighteen years of marriage. If all these lyrical themes are highlighted, it’s because the music is very stripped-down and slightly ho-hum, operating primarily in the area of acoustic folk-blues, with “earthy” guitars, fiddles and harmonica. Mumford alert!"

Really?!?! John copying Mumford and Sons, John invented that sound!!!!

There's a few other reviews I have found that say the lyrics are weak.

I just found it all a bit strange, this album is definitely a 5 out of 5 in my books and one of Mellencamp's best.

Right now Sometimes There's God, The Isolation of Mister, and The Company of Cowards are my favorites. I am so glad John really let his band and his melodies shine on this album, which was missing on the previous few albums. NBTT was strong regardless but Plain Spoken is on another level.
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Smalltownboy
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« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2014, 12:48:27 am »

No Better Than This is an excellent album but I do agree that Plain Spoken is on another level.

Sometimes these reviewer listen to bits and pieces and then write it sounds like, then they name some other artist or band.  Fair enough, there may be some slight similarities but John's songwriting is quite different from anyone.  Especially now that he is getting older.  It's as if he is writing for someone else.  As John says, he is not writing about anything he has particularly experienced and that's what is so unique about John's music.

The other thing about these reviewers is, they listen to tons of music and then have to put their thought on all they've just heard and write their thoughts.  They don't have time to really digest the music properly when they write their reviews.  So it's not really a fair assessment of the music they are critiquing.

As fans, it's hard to say something critical or negative about an artist/band who's music we've loved and grown up with.  John's music was quite different in his very early days.  He rocked!  Some of John's fans wish he'd do another rock album but John himself isn't that young man anymore.  He's evolved as a musician and grown as a man.  He can't shake off the past and that is why he still plays the classics and that made him a name.  I'm sure he still has some rock 'n' roll left in him but I love the musical journey he's been on for the last few years.




Mike



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mtotch123
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« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2014, 09:55:35 am »

Will agree with prior posts and chime in here...

Only listened a couple of times so far ....the MUSIC in this album is what struck me at first.  WOW!  Beautiful!!  Truly...something different yet you catch strains of similarity to other songs.  Really - I think he's outdown himself on the music part of these songs.  Then I listened more to the words, which again were though provoking.

Yea we all wish we could be 'forever young'...this album wasn't really what I expected...I really didn't think I was going to enjoy it because I knew it wasn't going to contain a 'rock' song.  But it surprised me....cuz it's different....and as John changes so does his music...which is pretty cool.  I'm thinking people who 'only know' who he is aren't gonna get it because they haven't been on his journey like his fans have.  Too many people look for another "Hurts So Good" or "Crumblin Down"; and that's not what's happening now.  They are missing out on a beautiful, beautiful album.  Maybe that's the problem with the reviewers.

IMHO John is a true artist....he explores and tries new things...
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kicker
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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2014, 09:32:44 pm »

I would wait for some real in depth reviews from serious music publications like ''No Depression, American Songwriter etc..'' not RS and others of their ilk. I stopped taking them seriously decades ago, they're all about lists, the latest trends, Bruce Springsteen and U2. Also i wouldn't put too much stock in the 3.5 AllMusic rating, i believe that's standard for an album that has not been reviewed yet.
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mtotch123
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2014, 01:12:16 pm »

After more listening....Tears in Vain should be a single release.....wow!

-somedays I still don't know what to do-
Mary in Michigan
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kicker
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« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2014, 08:27:46 pm »


This is more like it, this guy gets it.

http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/music/album-reviews-john-mellencamp-lowtide-deline-barbra-streisand-j-mascis-missy-higgins-arthur-boyd-tribute/story-e6frfn09-1227071884596
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Smalltownboy
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2014, 09:38:20 pm »

Yes, this is a very good review.




Mike
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mtotch123
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2014, 11:21:46 am »

Agree with that...

Also wanted to say that it's great that John has written music that allow his musicians to shine....!!!

-somedays I still don't know what to do-
Mary in Michigan
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WildNight
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2014, 10:29:11 pm »

Very nice review indeed, heres another good one. http://www.bostonherald.com/entertainment/music/2014/09/john_mellencamp_plain_spoken
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Smalltownboy
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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2014, 12:36:54 am »

There's a theme sadness, darkness and anger in John's voice and lyrics on Plain Spoken.  That's what I love about the album.  We've all felt and feel that in our lives.

I agree with what Jed Gottlieb says about John's melodies in the 80s.





Mike 
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turmbird
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2014, 12:18:42 pm »

who cares about critics? I don´t need anyone to tell me what I like.
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Smalltownboy
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« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2014, 12:40:46 pm »

Critics don't always get it because they don't connect to the artist or the music.  The critics may complain that John doesn't put out rock records anymore as do some of John's fans.  Who cares?  I am enjoying the Plain Spoken album the same way I enjoyed (and still do) John's Lonesome Jubilee, Scarecrow, Uh Huh, etc.  To those critics and fans, I say, do the same.



Mike   
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kicker
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« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2014, 06:44:52 pm »

Yeah i'm sick and tired of people/critics who judge an album or music in general by how much it does or doesn't ''rock'' as if that matters or is even relevant at all in today's musical world. You don't like what John is doing now, move on to something else, there's always Nickelback, Lanny Kravits or Bon Jovi, go for it.
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kicker
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« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2014, 08:39:19 pm »

http://www.onstagemagazine.com/john-mellencamp-plain-spoken-reviewed/
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WildNight
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« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2014, 08:50:05 pm »


Now thats a nice detailed review, excellent!
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