Tom Sinclair
August 19, 2010 AT 04:00 AM EDT

John Mellencamp is such an old-timey, small-town kind of guy that he recorded his new album in mono. That’s entirely fitting, since quite a few of this baker’s dozen of new tunes (produced by T Bone Burnett) sound like lost classics plucked from scratchy old 78 rpm discs. Compelling and heartfelt, No Better Than This feels tantalizingly timeless. Recommended to anyone who’s spent the past few years obsessively revisiting Bob Dylan’s Love and Theft. A?

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