John Mellencamp Makes Another Album About Freedom
John Mellencamp, stop. You are not Woody Guthrie. You’re a Springsteen wanna-be who got big when you put some Stones in your Americana, and god bless. But for the last 20-odd years you’ve been increasingly aching for respect and providing sociopolitcal rumination. It’s been more than 10 years since you’ve even had the spirit for a Van Morrison cover. Do you realize you’ve got an album called Life, Death, Love, And Freedom immediately following one called Freedom’s Road? An intervention is needed, and if necessary, we will file a legal injunction forcing you to rehire Kenny Aaronoff as your drummer and write at least 12 songs with the phrase “hey, baby” in the chorus that clock in at three minutes thirty max. Check that out, Coug.
Those daring to find out what lurks behind song titles like “For The Children,” “Troubled Land” and “If I Die Sudden” will find a DVD alongside the CD they pick up. The DVD isn’t really a DVD, though. It’s a CODE disc, which you can play on your DVD player and download to iTunes but will sound “virtually indistinguishable from the master tapes.”
T Bone Burnett and his team of engineers developed CODE, a proprietary audio technology that creates high-definition audio files that are virtually indistinguishable from the original master tapes. The resonance, warmth and presence that has been realized with CODE is unprecedented in the digital era. The CODE version of “Life, Death, Love and Freedom” is a DVD that will come packaged with a standard CD version of the album, available at all retail outlets, at no additional cost to the consumer. The CODE disc is playable on virtually all DVD machines including stand-alone players and drives integrated into computer systems. The DVD’s content can be copied into most computer music software including iTunes and can, then, be downloaded onto personal music players such as the iPod. The standard CD is included to answer all possible compatibility questions. Mellencamp commented, “When T Bone introduced me to CODE, it was a remarkable experience. I could hear the music the way it was intended to be heard. I’m very happy the people are going to be able to share this experience in a way that’s so true to our original intent.”
So is it just a higher bit rate? How is it different from other albums released on DVD Audio? How does one define “warmth”? Only T-Bone knows.