Label: John Mellencamp PS
The acoustic-flavored Plain Spoken touches on many of the social concerns about which John Mellencamp has long sung. "Lawless Times," for instance, is a bluesy rocker (one with subtle zydeco touches) chronicling the dissolution of morality in American society. But the album also is introspective. A man who has racked up more than a few divorces and breakups over the years (the latest was from three-years girlfriend Meg Ryan), Mellencamp digs deep into his ongoing lady issues on several cuts, including opener "Troubled Mind," "Tears in Vain" and the Roy Orbison-sounding "Blue Charlotte."