Rough Harvest (1999)


 
1. Love and Happiness 2. In My Time of Dying 3. Between a Laugh and a Tear 4. Human Wheels 5. Rain on the Scarecrow 6. Farewell, Angelina 7. Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First) 8. Jackie Brown 9. When Jesus Left Birmingham 10.The Full Catastrophe 11.Minutes to Memories 12.Under the Boardwalk 13.Wild Night

 

A contractual obligation album that has Mellencamp re-recording several of his songs with a more country, rustic feel. Of course, several of Mellencamp's albums had this exact same feel running through the entire set. Since he always had a wide variety of slightly different styles throughout his career, it's no surprise that he would choose to redo many of them in, one might argue, his most popular, recognizable style.

Whether or not you prefer the songs the way they're done here, or in their original style, is certainly a matter of personal preference. None of the songs are huge improvements over the originals, nor are there any embarrassments. The songs are all good enough in quality to sound decent enough here with these sort of arrangements. This album does suffer with a few cover songs that he includes. Why he bothers, I'm really not sure. (Really - Under the Boardwalk?). And the live version of Wild Night is too inconsistent with the feel of the album. It would have been better for him to just keep going with his own material and added three or four more songs.

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