John Mellencamp’s Controversial New Song Hurts So Bad

Brian Raftery / October 6, 2006

The bizarre, Forrest Gump-meets-Frontline clip you’re about to see is John Mellencamp’s new Chevy ad, in which his song “Our Country” is played over a montage of American-history milestones, from Vietnam to Katrina (you can find out more about the controversial video via our auto-neurotica pals at Jalopnik).

Chevy may have been going for a sort of “America: Warts And All” approach with the commercial, but it’s gotten several right-wingers in a tizzy: Over at the conservative Free Republic site, armchair-Christgaus have already given “Country” a D-, opining that “I thought Mellencamp sucked before I even understood politics,” and “What`s worse than being Bruce Springsteen? Being someone who imitates Bruce Springsteen.” One commenter even makes an Electric Boogaloo reference, proving that no matter what your patrisan loyalties may be, we all make the same, tired ’80s references.

Our thoughts: The video is creepily exploitative–we’re pretty sure that Rosa Parks didn’t get on the bus hoping that she’d be posthumously employed to sell pick-up trucks–and the song sounds like every other Mellencamp tune since 1992. This guy’s rewritten “Pink House” more times than Ryan Adams.

John Cougar’s “Our Country” Chevy Commercial [YouTube]
John Cougar’s “Our Country” Chevy Commercial [Free Republic]