In a compelling blend of rock, dance, and folk, Ian Mellencamp is back with a new album, Romance in D. The 13-track acoustic album is a glimmering showcase of the artist’s vocal prowess, with lyrics and vocals that are at times reminiscent of Elliott Smith. Mellencamp, who is a former model for brands like Calvin Klein and Tom Ford and the nephew of famed songwriter John Mellencamp, navigates themes of love, desire, and companionship with grace and eloquence.
Released today, Romance in D blends sonic styles to create a project that feels entirely new. “What are you chasing, lust or money? Some want the bread, some want the honey, I just want peace, give me a romance in D,” sings Mellencamp on “Romance Ending,” a fast-paced, catchy song that juxtaposes well with the album’s acoustic ballads and spoken-word tracks.
The album has a diversity in content and style, guiding the new listener through a track list in which each song feels completely new. Tracks like “Tell Me Everything…” and “Intro” swerve into the experimental side of Mellencamp’s style, bordering on spoken word by using vocal effects and samples to establish a distinct feeling. Romance in D even features a cover of Nick Drake’s classic folk track “Pink Moon,” staying true to the original song while adding his own twists. A subtle electronic synth pattern pops up throughout, adding a unique and modern flair to the 1972 song.
Romance in D is a captivating project, and perfect for the chilly days of winter that are about to be upon us. Listen here.