The Austin Sessions
First Appeared at The Music Box, November 2003, Volume 10, #11
Written by Michael Cooney
Edwin McCain, the man who made teenage girls cry with his 1997 mega hit Iíll Be, is back with another album. Instead of peddling mere fluff, however, he shows that he has moved beyond teen idol status, proving that he can be much more than a just another one-hit wonder. The Austin Sessions is a purely acoustic album, featuring McCain and his guitar, and while pulling off a truly compelling solo acoustic set is a difficult task, he makes it work. His songs are about real people with real emotions, and each one flutters past like a short story or mini-movie, leaving one with the feeling of time spent enmeshed in the lives of his characters. Tracks like Go Be Young and Sorry to a Friend are melodically constructed and extraordinarily moving, and a cover of Dire Straitsí Romeo and Juliet fits quite nicely alongside his tales of love and loss. With The Austin Sessions, he has written a collection of quality songs, which wouldnít work nearly as well in the hands of anyone else. There is something intangible about McCain and the way that he handles a tune, and perhaps thatís what made him a teen idol in the first place. Utilizing his screechy, powerful vocals like an actor uses a facial expression, he makes his music indescribably attractive. As a result, The Austin Sessions is the kind of album one puts on the stereo at the end of a long, hard day, the kind of collection to which one listens in quiet reflection with the lights switched off. Ĺ
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box