Top Ten of Ten

Top Ten of Ten: #10 John Mellencamp “No Better Than This” (2010)

342774501It was the end of August 2010. Less than 2 months before I got married when Denielle shows me an article in a magazine. I read it and I got skeptical. I was like, “Nah…I’m just not interested.” I did more reading and decided to preview it. The night before we drove out to Michigan for Labor Day Weekend at my dad’s place, I decided to pick it up. We listened to it in the car and I honestly could not contain my enthusiasm. It’s that good! We now live in a world of computerized recordings. John Mellencamp’s approach on his new record label debut, “No Better Than This”, is refreshing. The entire album was recorded with Mellencamp and his band all playing live in one room using a 55 year-old tape recorder and just one vintage microphone. It was captured in three historically important locations: Sun Studio in Memphis, TN (where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis all first recorded); the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, GA and at the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, TX. The songs on No Better Than This reflect classic American musical traditions including blues, folk, gospel, rockabilly, and country, while addressing themes like the need for hope, the nature of relationships, and narratives that focus on amazing occurrences in everyday life. John Mellencamp says of the album, “It was absolutely the most fun I’ve ever had making a record in my life. It was about making music – organic music made by real musicians – that’s heartfelt and written from the best place it can come from.” The title of the record nails it because I feel that his popularity in the 80’s and 90’s was great BUT now he is “No Better Than This.” Now we are married and we listen to this one at least twice a month in some fashion. Go check it out! This one is a major accomplishment!