This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
The first three songs on John Mellencamp’s new disc feature guest vocals by firebrand rapper Chuck D, hip-hop siren India.Arie and country songbird Trisha Yearwood. Never mind cutting heads; seems like Mellencamp is out to turn a few heads with this 10-track CD.
Mostly though, Cuttin’ Heads shows John finally has his own noggin on straight. Ploughing a middle ground between the funky loops and electronics of his self-titled ’98 album with the unvarnished Americana of 1999’s Rough Harvest, Mellencamp presents a series of smartly crafted, smoothly delivered songs that combine his trademark roots-pop jangle with plenty of joyful, hip-swivelling grooves. For the first time in a long time, ole John seems comfortable in his own skin. And in his own head.