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"Scarecrow" is the 8th studio album by American artist, John Mellencamp. It was released in 1985 on Riva Records and produced by Mellencamp with Don Gehman.
With a slightly harder edge than some of his previous efforts, you still feel the heart and soul of the artist shining through with honesty and a sense of pride in who he is as a person, and where he is from. John Mellencamp has never been a pretentious man, wanting people to believe he is someone he is not, and that attitude toward life comes through in his songs. This album contains some rocking songs, but it still has a humble, rural feel to it without straying into the realm of country music.
Title song, "Rain on the Scarecrow" raises awareness of how many farm families lost not only their livelihoods, but homes, farms and dignity during the Regan era. The song has a haunting quality to it, with lyrics that give a sense of justified anger.
"Small Town", with a fun to sing along with chorus, tells of how Mellencamp feels about his hometown of Seymour, Indiana, and also Bloomington, Indiana where he was living at the time the song was written. You get the sense that small town life is far better all the way around.
"R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A." is an all around rock anthem tribute to the men and women of the 60s era who gave their all to pursue their musical careers and pave the way for those who followed. With a flute and organ section and lyrics sung with a lot of passion, it is a brilliant song.
Whether you are from the heart of the country or the biggest of cities, it is easy to appreciate the heartland rock in this album. It is easy to get immersed in these songs, and appreciate them for their uncomplicated, laid back quality. I'd recommend it for anyone, because it has a wide appeal and lyrics suited to anyone without having a 'family appeal' feel to them.
1. Rain on the Scarecrow
2. Grandma's Theme
3. Small Town
4. Minutes to Memories
5. Lonely Ol' Night
6. The Face of the Nation
7. Justice and Independence '85
8. Between a Laugh and a Tear
10. You've Got to Stand For Somethin'
11. R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.
My rating: 9/10