This fall, John Mellencamp will release his 22nd album, 'Plain Spoken.' The record will be the his first for Republic Records, who announced that they have signed Mellencamp to a lifetime contract.

“Not only has he served as an ambassador of social consciousness in America," said Republic co-founder Monte Lipman . "But he has also provided the soundtrack of a generation. We’re thrilled to be working with John Mellencamp as part of this historic deal.”

Back in December, Mellencamp said he had written 85 songs for the album and had rehearsed some of them with his band. Although it was not mentioned in the press release trumpeting 'Plain Spoken,' it is expected to be produced by T Bone Burnett, with whom Mellencamp has worked on his last three records.

“I never want to work with anyone else,” Mellencamp said of Burnett. “At least, I want to work with him as long as he wants to work with me. He’s a minimalist. He was able to strip down all my songs. My ’90s records were almost paint-by-numbers. He came in and said to me, ‘You don’t need this part. You don’t need that part. Take out these background vocals…’”

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