Jump to Content

Welcome! You’re browsing the No Depression Archives

No Depression has been the foremost journalistic authority on roots music for well over a decade, publishing 75 issues from 1995 to 2008. No Depression ceased publishing magazines in 2008 and took to the web. We have made the contents of those issues accessible online via this extensive archive and also feature a robust community website with blogs, photos, videos, music, news, discussion and more.

Close This

Waxed - Record Review from Issue #6 Nov-Dec 1996

John Mellencamp

Mr. Happy Go Lucky (Polygram)

While not as hit-packed as Scarecrow or an artistic triumph on the level of The Lonesome Jubilee, John Mellencamp’s latest proves he still matters. He’s hasn’t abandoned his rural fix; aside from all those Hootie songs, “Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First)” is one of the few hits with both a prominent harmonica solo and a jangling guitar. The much-talked-about production of dance guru Junior Vasquez isn’t so much revolutionary as simply interesting, driving rock-solid drummer Kenny Aranoff to play faster and louder.

From character sketches of weirdoes who skateboard in the rain (“Jerry”), to the aimlessness and indecision of not knowing what to do with himself (“Just Another Day”), Mellencamp is still wonderfully mixed up, unclear about who he is and why he does the things he does. In perhaps the most chilling moment of an already dark album, a hollow voice repeatedly calls out “Is that OK? Is that OK?”, only to be drowned out by an echoing cackle. Mellencamp’s knack for bringing themes of loss, confusion and love to the level of regular folks without watering them down has rarely been stronger.

Enjoy the ND archives? Consider making a donation with PayPal or send a check to:
No Depression, 460 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108

Discuss

Did you enjoy this article? Start a discussion about it, or find out what others are saying in the No Depression Community forum.

Join the Discussion »

Find out what's going on in roots music. Share concert photos and videos, learn about new artists, blog about the music you love.

Join the No Depression Community »

Originally Featured in Issue #6 Nov-Dec 1996

Cover of Issue #6 Nov-Dec 1996

Sorry, this issue is SOLD OUT

Buy our history before it’s gone!

Each issue is artfully designed and packed full of great photos that you don‘t get online. Visit the No Depression store to own a piece of history.

Visit the No Depression Store »


From the Blogs

Shop Amazon by clicking through this logo to support NoDepression.com. We get a percentage of every purchase you make!


Subscribe To the No Depression Newsletter

Subscribe to the No Depression Newsletter