July 07, 2019

Edwin McCain - Messenger (1999)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Alternative Rock, Acoustic Rock
.FLAC via Mega (Link)
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© 1999 Lava, Atlantic Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Edwin McCain is not flashy, nor does he wish to be. He is perfectly content with writing folk-tinged ballads and mildly anthemic, midtempo rockers, much like his labelmates and fellow South Carolinians Hootie & the Blowfish. Whereas Hootie broke down the commercial doors for this breed of heartland rock, McCain simply follows the path, winding up where Hootie was after Cracked Rear View -- namely, with a solid collection of no-frills rock, one that pleases without being particularly memorable, outside of a handful of singles. He was that way from the first, and his third effort, Messenger, is no different apart from the subtle differences -- stylish, radio-ready production from Matt Serletic (a veteran of Matchbox 20 and Collective Soul) and stronger overall songcraft from McCain. These subtle differences are enough to make Messenger his most consistent album to date, at least sonically, but these are primarily cosmetic changes; beneath the surface, it's pretty much the same album as before, with an equal balance of winners and fillers (most notably an acoustic version of the previous album's hit, "I'll Be," tacked onto the end). That's no great sin, especially since most artists following this brand of trad rock have the same problem, but it is a little frustrating, since production becomes the only way to separate the records. Nevertheless, the best moments from all three records constitute a body of work that stands up strongly to his peers, and the best moments from Messenger illustrate that McCain is getting better each time.

tags: edwin mccain, messenger, 1999, flac,

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