For whatever reason, many wrote John Mellencamp off a good decade ago, as his enormous '80s success began to subside.

For whatever reason, many wrote John Mellencamp off a good decade ago, as his enormous '80s success began to subside. Yet, after so many abandoned him, Mellencamp cranked out album after album that, without fail, included a hit or two, however minor, such as "Dance Naked." With this thoroughly pleasing covers set, it becomes readily apparent that Mellencamp is deserving of much more respect than he has been paid. By covering the likes of Robert Johnson and Hoagy Carmichael, Mellencamp oddly seems more vital than he has in years. He completely owns the dirt-floor blues cuts "Stones in My Passway" (Johnson) and "Death Letter" (Son House). Sounding classic and contemporary, the '50s cut "Teardrops Will Fall" is a hit in waiting. Recalling the classic Scarecrow album, Trouble No More seems to be Mellencamp's first step toward winning back all of us who've gone astray, whether he intended to or not.—WO

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