John Mellencamp may be in midlife, but, judging by the sharp tone of this new collection, he ain't in no crisis. Cuttin' Heads is a surprisingly diverse album, one that spends plenty of time pondering the state of the heartland and even more time reconnecting with its sounds. Simple, organic arrangements swathe uplifting forays like "Crazy Island" and the blunt-but-buoyant "Peaceful World," on which he duets with soul songstress India.Arie amid whisper-light layers of violin, mandolin, and pedal steel, while percussion-led tracks, such as "Just Like You," guarantee a workout for the pelvis. Mellencamp is most incisive on the album's title track, a striking narrative about interracial romance and racial tension, replete with an authoritative rap from Public Enemy's Chuck D. But years of barnstorming -- and subsequent time spent in front of an artist's easel -- have taught Mellencamp that all dark and no light makes for a dull rock album; to that end, he's sprinkled in a few of his regular-Joe musings about love and lust, which range from heart touching ("Deep Blue Heart") to rib-tickling ("Worn Out Nervous Condition"). There's -- to borrow from one of his older albums -- nothin' fancy about Cuttin' Heads, but there's a lot to be said for its plainspoken eloquence.
Performance CreditsJohn Mellencamp Primary Artist,Guitar
Andy York Banjo,Guitar,Mandolin,Percussion,Keyboards,Background Vocals,Lap Steel Guitar
Willie Weeks Bass
Mike Wanchic Guitar,Background Vocals
Dane Clark Percussion,Drums
Miriam Sturm Percussion,Violin,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Pat Peterson Background Vocals
Technical CreditsJohn Mellencamp Producer
Don Gehman Engineer
Paul Mahern Engineer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Cuttin' Heads based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
not only a great musician, but a great man-i had the honor to meet him when i was in college & he is everything he claims to be & then some.He is truly the finest thing to come out of indiana & we are proud of him!!
I've been a JM fan since I first heard Rain on the Scarecrow while sitting in a traffic jam when i was eighteen... almost eighteen years ago. Through the years, his albums have always provided me with honest passionate music... even though some albums resonate more than others. I think this album is his best since Human Wheels. Plus, Chuck D is an added bonus on the title cut. Topical, funny, inspired, introspective, groove filled, it... well... rocks.
In the true Mellencamp style, new sounds mix with old in this CD. The familiar ''Hey Hey''s are there, along with new voices and just a touch of rap. He's following Santana's style of mixing in new artists with his own music and comes up with a gritty, bluesy, jazzy combo that is all that we expect from him!
This album just missed the September cut-off for the 2002 grammy awards, so I see it at least in contention for the next one. The India Arie duet ''Perfect World'' has to be one of the best songs recorded in the last few years. Mellancamp's classic rock-meets-the-heartland sound still comes through with the same force is does today as it did twenty years ago. It's just one of those albums you put in the CD player, let it play, and you fall in love with.
I have always been a Mellencamp fan his songs have saved me through many hard times of my life. Hooray to John.
As a friend of mine calls him, I've been a John Mellon Cougarcamp fan since American Fool. There have been some great Albums and some dodgey stuff. This one I'm glad to say takes over from Mr Happy go Lucky as his best since The Lonesome Jubelee. Some other Albums have had one great song and a lot of weakish tracks. Cuttin heads has one cracking song (peaceful world) and other great one's which keep growing on you (in our lives, women seem, just like you). I've been listening to this album driving home from work for about a month now and I never tire of it. It's uplifting, his new guitarist seems to be really good, the drummer is not up to Ken Aronoff's standards but then who is, he passes (in the studio, not so good live). The melodies and variety on the album are great I gave it four as I think he has produced marginally better albums (I would have given it 4.5) but if he keeps up this standard I'll be happy enough. Even the ballad with Trisha Yearwood is really good. I saw him live for the first time in Chicago in July 2002 and at 50 years old , he is still r.o.c.k.ing. Keep yer motor runnin' Johnny.
Wow! Still layin it down. John has put together a cd of bangin tracks produced by the one and only Dr Dre. While many fans may not be used to this change in style, we can now see where he's comin from. Check out ''Blood of my Vicitms'' and ''Locked down with a Glock'' - amazing.