‘Romance in D’ is the new album from Ian Mellencamp with a unique concept behind the idea for the album. The entire album is based around the key of D and is a heavily narrative based body of work.
It is designed to take you on a journey as you travel through its songs, detailing life's transient nature, its highs and lows and exploring this using all of the forms of major, minor and different melodic styles of the key of D, which is the defining fundamental current which links all of its pieces together. The idea for the album is an interesting one and isn’t as limiting musically as it may seem and it certainly allows for Ian’s musical expressions to be contained and packaged into one body of work where all of its tracks reflect onto each other. I feel this is a lost art concept and making an album in this way is a great way to allow the album to have more impact.
One of the defining tracks of the album ‘Full Steam Ahead’ is a nicely produced song that you could label as the albums lead single. The song features a great stereo spread of acoustic guitars providing a summer anthem style to the track. Ians vocal style compliments this style of guitar playing very well and one can hear echoes of inspiration from artists such as John Denver and José Gonzalez with perhaps a slightly more modern twist.
Ians lyrics give you a clear picture of the story he’s trying to depict and he has an interesting flare to his vocal style which is rather unique. He blends spoken word poetry with well put together melodies very well.
Overall, this track has a very pleasurable feel and combined with Ians thoughtful lyrics, provides a decent baseline to his concept while keeping you entertained throughout.