Saturday, July 17, 2010

Edwin McCain: The Austin Sessions (2003)

(As published in the Times of Acadiana ... )

Edwin McCain
The Austin Sessions

On this primarily acoustic album’s less predictable material (the jaunty “Let It Slide,” the interracial love song “Popcorn Box,” the playful “Little Girls”), McCain’s recently acquired vocal edge provides him access to a soulfulness that may surprise those who know him mainly for “I’ll Be” or “Solitude.” But it’s by switching back to his smoother croon that he puts over “No Choice,” a minor-key Buddy Mondlock folk tune that proves there’s always room for mandolin-laced artifacts bemoaning the perfidy of the music biz. Too bad he also has to go and turn Dire Straits’ “Romeo and Juliet” into a drag. Rating: Three-and-a-half minor-label debuts out of five.

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