Review by Andy Hawes for MPM
This is a special moment! Two utter and complete legends of American Heartland Rock/Americana, whose combined careers span over a century and whose combined age is 142 years, get together to release an absolute diamond piece of music!
‘Wasted days’ is in many ways the perfect duet for such complete heroes of the American rock scene. It is an absolute songwriting masterpiece from two men who have lived it all, seen it all and know that they are approaching life’s end. It has a stunningly beautiful melancholy and a stark vulnerability that can’t fail to touch the soul of the listener.
Built upon delicately strummed acoustic guitars, sporadically punctuated by accordion, harmonica and twanging Telecaster guitars, it is the perfect soundscape for the reflective tale that these two ageing legends weave across the chords and melodies.
These are men who are painfully aware of their own mortality and the simple fact that all of us waste far too much time, when time is ultimately short. “How can a man watch his life go down the drain? How many moments has he lost today? Who among us could ever see clear – the end is coming – it’s almost here,” Springsteen croons before the final chorus. Powerful stuff!
From this you might think that the track is simply unparalleled misery set to music, but honestly you couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s simply a very real, honest and authentic reflection on the passing of life and the implicit message within it is this: LIVE life, don’t just ‘exist’ it and don’t waste your days and fritter them away.
Both Springsteen’s and Mellencamp’s voices are perfect on this track. They do sound slightly tired – but oddly enough not in a bad way at all. Far from it: the vocals are delivered in such a way as to make the melancholy in the lyrics come alive. It’s literally the perfect delivery – a husky, throaty croon that portrays the emotion and the meaning in the lyric beautifully. The chorus is particularly fine, with Mellencamp taking the low melody and Springsteen delivering a slightly wavering high harmony that simply drips with emotion.
The video is equally brilliant. It has a slightly sepia tonality to the colour filters, making it look aged, but not old (if that makes sense). Both Mellencamp and Springsteen have aged well. They carry off the visuals as well as they do the music. This is rock legends ageing with grace and dignity and both still clearly loving igniting the creative spark and the performer within.
Beautiful, authentic, honest and utterly brilliant!
Stream and download the new single here: https://JohnMellencamp.lnk.to/WastedD…
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