John Cougar / John Mellencamp

Nothin' Matters and What If It Did

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One year after John Cougar's "I Need a Lover" gave him his first hit single, Cougar released Nothin' Matters and What if It Did, an album which began to unravel his fondness for small-town simplicity and the pride that is inherited from being brought up in America's heartland. Each song from the album characterizes Cougar's non-threatening, rebellious farm-boy attitude, from the Springsteen-like overtones of "Wild Angel" to the pleading gentleness of "Don't Misunderstand Me." "This Time," carried through with its jubilant, bouncy pace and countrified vocal style, hit number 27 in 1980, with the sultry yet rustic innocence of "Ain't Even Done With the Night" climbing ten spots higher as the album's second single. A good feel for Cougar's passive yet warm approach to rock & roll can be found on Nothin' Matters, even within the lyrics of minor efforts like "Hot Night in a Cold Town" or "To M.G." Following this album was his monumental American Fool release, a solid package for Cougar and one that Nothin' Matters played the prototype for.

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