It really doesn't take long to recognize the songs found on John Fogerty's latest release, Wrote a Song for Everyone. Why? Well, it's because a large portion of the songs found on this album are re-recorded versions of songs from a once popular band, Creedence Clearwater Revival. Four other tracks have their own unique historical importance apart from CCR. Regardless, all of the songs here bear Fogerty's unmistakable stamp.Although this is a new John Fogerty album, it is important to note that many of the songs feature guest vocals. And more than a few are chill-inducers. Such can be said for My Morning Jacket's involvement with "Long as I Can See the Light." That song is a complete rework that puts new colors inside of it. And yes, it works quite well. In fact, most of the songs work fantastically well.
Bob Seger lends his recognizable voice to "Who'll Stop the Rain" and Kid Rock has amazing fun on "Born on the Bayou." "Proud Mary" is revisited with Jennifer Hudson, Allen Toussaint and the Rebirth Brass Band, perhaps becoming the crowning touch in this set of Fogerty jewels by sounding as much like a nod to Ike and Tina Turner's scorching version as it does to CCR's.
Foo Fighters make "Fortunate Son," Fogerty's important and scathing rebuke song referencing the unbalanced Vietnam draft, an equally powerful tune by their edgy rock and roll recreation, with Dave Grohl sharing vocals. The vocal performances on "Someday Never Comes" re-imagines the classic in its own potent way.
Wrote a Song for Everyone does a great job of rejuvenating classics. Would I have chosen some other songs? Of course. And I think we all might have our preferences. For instance, I would have loved to have a changed up version of Blue Ridge Rangers' "Jambalaya (On the Bayou)." But that was a Hank Williams song and not within the scope of this album. "Looking Out My Back Door" would have been nice too. "Travelin' Band," "Up Around the Bend," "Run Through the Jungle" (from Cosmo's Factory, 1970), "Down on the Corner" (Willie and the Poor Boys, 1969), and even "Green River" (Green River, 1969) would have been great fun to hear renewed.
Regardless, Wrote a Song for You is an excellent visit with one of rock's premier songwriters. Fogerty helps to make it more than a typical covers release, and more than a money-grab set of re-recordings of his own music. He makes it a valid release not only by the music on this set but also by the track-by-track discussions found in the booklet. And he makes it a fun one at that.