John Fogerty

If the opening track of this splendid new disc doesn't convince you that John Fogerty has returned to full-strength as a songwriter, you're either deaf or really, really depressed. "Don't You Wish It Was True" is the kind of rootsy anthem that Fogerty used to kick out with miraculous regularity. And honestly — all music critic hype aside — the entire album is a monster.

All the trademark pleasures are in evidence: the twangy guitar riffs, Fogerty's surprisingly soulful growl, the pure melodies, the dependable backbeat. The standout track here is "Long Dark Night," a blistering indictment of the Bush administration. "Georgie's in the jungle, knocking on your door," Fogerty howls. "Come to get your children, wants to have a war." Fogerty even pokes fun at himself, and the musical legacy that has dogged him, on the hilarious "Creedence Song." There's an occasional misstep — Fogerty ends up sounding like Bon Scott on the frantic "I Can't Take It No More" — but overall the man who once stood at the center of American roots rock has placed himself there again and made it sound like he was never gone.

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