The Austin Sessions

Edwin McCain

ATC Records, 2003

REVIEW BY: Tommy Johnson

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/01/2003

The genre singer/songwriter has not developed much the last 30 years. I guess that is what I like about the genre. It's like… home. Your home is always your home, and there is no place like it, right? When you buy the latest James Taylor or Jackson Browne album, you can be pretty sure that the music will sound just like it did when these artists began recording music in the 60's. That is probably why they have lasted for so long. They are genuine and true. They might even be a bit boring.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

No doubt, a singer/songwriter is in a very exposed situation when he performs his songs in front an audience, with nothing but his voice and his instrument (note: this person might, of course, be a she as well). That's why it takes a lot of talent to hit it big as a singer/songwriter as opposed to hitting it big as a pop artist where all you need is good looks and a great producer.

Anyway, this album is great. Edwin McCain has the talent. His songs are great, his guitar playing too, and his voice is magnificent. This package of sounds can be heard on his latest album The Austion Sessions.

It's a very raw disc production-wise. Basically, what you hear it what you get. The instrumentation is very basic, but the fact that a saxophone had found its way into the mix, came as a surprise. It actually appears quite often, and while I think it's a nice addition to the guitar-based production, I also think that it needs a more prominent place in the mix. It's a victim of too much reverb, but I guess I'm just being picky…

There are a couple of gems on this release. "Ghosts Of Jackson Square" and "No Choice" are two of the strongest tracks. However, there are also one or two songs on the album that are way too "catchy". You know, the kind of songs where it feels as if you are expected to clap your hands and sing-a-long, preferably around a campfire. The kind of songs that you pray will never find their way to the radio, and God forbid, become hits. "Little Girls" comes in mind as an example of the above comments.

Let's not end this review in a negative way, though. I mean, I really like this album. I'm not saying it is excellent, but it is far better than average. As long as you're not looking for a party album, I truly recommend this disc.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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