Scream and Whisper
With ballads like “I’ll Be” and “Solitude” as his biggest hits, Edwin McCain’s new album finds the gifted singer/songwriter in a more positive, upbeat mood. Having dealt with his split from Lava/Atlantic Records, this, his fifth studio album, is perhaps his best work yet. It once again demonstrates his happy knack for stirring, emotive songs, undeniable melodies and a soulful delivery.
Many of the tracks deal with typical McCain themes of love and valuing the non-materialistic things life offers; a sentiment expertly expressed on “Shooting Stars,” his glorious collaboration with another underrated singer/songwriter, Angie Aparo. The lively “Turning Around” touches on McCain’s personal reinvention after a period where he almost gave up writing and performing, and that positivism is further chronicled on the wonderful opener “Coming Down.” “I’m glad to be here / Most of all I’m glad to be alive,” he sings.
“Say Anything” and “Couldn’t Love You More” find McCain in familiar ballad territory, but there’s no denying the power, grace and beauty of these songs. Writing from the perspective of the third person is another of McCain’s strengths. “Good Enough” details the struggles black artists faced over the years, while the outstanding “Farewell To Tinkerbell” sees McCain imagining what would happen to Peter Pan if he did grow up.
McCain’s band is as tight and talented as always. With guitarists Larry Chaney and Pete Riley lending their valuable song writing skills, the whole album is as strong a collection as McCain has ever produced, ending with a spirited cover of “Maggie May.”
A guitar featured in almost every insert photo subliminally indicates that all the corporate bullshit McCain endured is behind him. The focus is now on the most important thing: the music.
Edwin McCain: www.edwin.com