John Mellencamp, Freedom’s Road

John Mellencamp has been releasing solid records for the past five years, and his 19th album, Freedom's Road, doesn't stray far from the dusty back road sound of past releases, including 2005's Cuttin' Heads and 2003's Trouble No More. He is still writing politically engaged lyrics, while standing proud and true in America's musical landscape of country-roots rock. Freedom is an all-round enjoyable listen, although at times Mellencamp can sound a bit too preachy for his own good. But you can't deny the raw emotion found in choice cuts "Jim Crow" (featuring Joan Baez), the poignant political commentary of "Rodeo Clown," and roots-rocker "Someday." Rating: 3 Out Of 5 Stars

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