John Mellencamp – Strictly A One-Eyed Jack – 2022

Strictly A One-Eyed Jack

John Mellencamp’s album Strictly a One-Eyed Jack is a prime example of when you really should try now more time before throwing your gavel down and rule a sentence or a rating. At first, I didn’t like it at all. I couldn’t understand what he was doing. It sounded just terrible in my ears. Not production-wise at all, just lame and without feeling. I was worried that John Mellencamp finally and totally lost it and was just an old grumpy man putting out albums his way or the highway. The latter might very well be true. Because it is a very special album and it’s certainly not for everybody. But if you go back to more sparsely instrumented John Mellencamp albums I think you will recognize the sound.

With that said, I will now jump forward to my non-initial reactions to Strictly a One-Eyed Jack. It’s actually an excellent album and I think that it’s very personal. It sure sounds that way. It comes across as very honest and there’s a lot of Folk on this one. John Mellencamp has done some pretty “rocky” albums in the past and some really Folk-ish ones. I think this falls into the latter category and I think that it sounds perfect when I have had the chance to listen to it a few more times. For Bruce Springsteen fans I’m glad to say that he is featured on three songs on the album. He plays some electric guitar and sings of course. I am not a huge Springsteen fan so I don’t bother much about it but he is undoubtedly one of the major rock stars in modern-day and that oughta count for something. Otherwise, lots of acoustic guitars, fiddle, harmonica, and I think accordion. Very nice album actually!

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