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Day 106: John Cougar – American Fool

14 Jun

Hurts So Good

It’s never a good sign when a request for Dad-Rock Tuesday is prefaced with “you will hate this.”  That’s what my father had to say about John Mellencamp’s American Fool, from back when he was still releasing music with that ridiculous fake last name.

American Fool opens with the now-infamous Hurts So Good, a song that I’ve heard a million times, but never really given much thought to.  Honestly, I didn’t even know that it was by Mellencamp.  When I actually listened to it with a critical lens in place, I found that it isn’t too bad for a pop song.  It’s catchy; lyrically, it is trite but true, and delivered in a semi-unconventional way.  That’s about as much as you can ask for out of pop rock.

The rest of the album continued in this fashion for me.  Did I love it? No.  It’s just not what I’m looking for in my music.  Mellencamp’s lyrics mainly deal with love, lust, partying and summer; stuff that’s all been done before, and then a million times since.  It’s all pretty formulaic as well.  Once again, this is about all that you can hope for from an album of this nature.  It’s not terrible, but I would definitely survive without hearing American Fool again.

As for why my dad told me that I would hate this, compared to some of the other stuff that he’s  given me, I’m not entirely sure.  This is like an argument that I’ve had with a friend recently—I don’t dislike music simply because it’s popular.  I dislike popular music, just as I do “obscure” music, if I am not entertained or captivated by what I am hearing.  This record kept me a little more entertained than other records that I’ve written about on previous DRTs, just not enough for it to be considered great.

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