Wrote A Song For Everyone

John Fogerty

Vanguard, 2013


REVIEW BY: Mark Millan


John Fogerty, man, what have you done?

Wrote A Song For Everyone is Fogerty’s ninth studio solo album, and judging by the mess he has served up here, I’d say he may just be out of ideas altogether. This whole thing sounds like a bad karaoke night, which is a travesty considering the (mostly) stellar group of “friends” that Fogerty put together to bring this thing to life. The premise for this album was simple. Fogerty draws up a list of artists that he would like to re-record his songs with and said artist sends in their requested tracks and then awaits their call-up to duty.

Now, I don’t have a problem with artists reimagining their old songs on record for new ears and some do it very well. The problem with this one is that not only do the rearrangements sound awful, but for the most part, the hired help are the biggest part of the problem. Fogerty has been touring heavily over the last decade and has more than enough compilations and live albums out there for people to see and hear how he gets it done every night with some of rock’s greatest songs. The fire and passion and soul with which he hits the stage, though, are all completely absent from this dull and dreary set of tunes.  my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The whole thing is nothing more than a vanity project for all involved and with the exception of a few songs here, it really is completely irrelevant. Those exceptions are very nice tunes, though, and Fogerty sounds inspired if a little weary. “Mystic Highway” is a joyful romp down country-rock memory lane and it contains one of Fogerty’s finest lyrics for some time. “Train Of Fools” is a more aggressive song lyrically and the slow-burning track is just the right type of vehicle for Fogerty to get his message across. 

Now, about those reheated classics. The album is opened by Fogerty and the Foo Fighters, which sounds as dis-jointed and mismatched on record as it must have on paper as they stumble their way through “Fortunate Son.” John never gets out of second gear and Dave goes way overboard trying to compensate by growling instead of singing. The bland banjo-led country-pop of ‘Almost Saturday Night” with the affable but always bland Keith Urban offers nothing new and the pair has no chemistry at all. 

Bob Seger joins the party for a competent but flat version of “Who’ll Stop The Rain,” and “Long As I Can See The Light” with My Morning Jacket is stripped down to a bluesy ballad but it is no match for the original or several other cover versions I have heard by much lesser known artists. Not all of the songs are terrible, though: “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” with Alan Jackson and “Born On The Bayou” featuring Kid Rock is more interesting than anything else and Fogerty finally sounds passionate at least.

Shane and Tyler Fogerty join their old man for a wonderful version of “Lodi” that is easily the best track on the record, but the less said about the abomination of “Proud Mary” featuring Jennifer Hudson and Allen Tuossainte the better.

Wrote A Song For Everyone will probably go down as the year’s biggest disappointment for me and unless you’re a diehard fan, I can’t see what you’d get out of it.

Rating: C-

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