Edwin McCain: The Best of Edwin McCain


RIYL: Better Than Ezra, Michael McDermott, David Cook

If you want to start feeling old, watch what happens when an artist you grew up listening to is releasing “greatest hits” or career retrospectives that span five to ten albums or more. Such may be the case with singer/songwriter Edwin McCain, who has been making his own brand of acoustic-driven, southern-tinged alternative rock for almost two decades now. So here he is with The Best of Edwin McCain, a nice collection of tracks that encompass both radio hits and some obscure gems as well. McCain may have begun his career as part of the Aware Records camp, the one that spawned some powerhouse alt/pop acts like Better than Ezra and Train, but he wound up evolving into a hit machine – the kind of hits that made the knees of young-to-middle-aged women weak, and that would find their way onto wedding band set lists. We’re talking songs like “I’ll Be” and “I Could Not Ask For More.” And that set list just got longer too, as there is a new track on here, “Walk with You,” about a dad giving his daughter away in marriage. But those in the know have understood that McCain’s songwriting prowess runs much deeper, and that is never more evident than on his inaugural single, “Solitude,” or on the groove-y “Take Me.” There is also a decent cover of Grand Funk Railroad’s “Some Kind of Wonderful.” But for as balanced as this album is, there are a couple of glaring omissions, most notably “Go Be Young” and “Ghost of Jackson Square” from the Messenger album. Still, that’s the beauty of the digital era—that we can go make our own “greatest hits” collections of our favorite artists. Either way, this is a nice look back at a fine career so far. (Time Life 2010)

Edwin McCain MySpace page

  

The Trampolines: Between the Lines


RIYL: Toad the Wet Sprocket, Gin Blossoms, The Hooters

If you are a fan of well-produced, well-written, harmony-drenched power pop, you may have found a new favorite band in Denver’s the Trampolines. Back with their second album and first since 2005, Between the Lines, this trio delivers a solid set of material that deserves to be heard by those who champion the type of stuff that came out of the Aware Records camp and what today passes for AAA (adult album alternative). Think Train or Toad the Wet Sprocket, with throwback flavors from bands like the Hooters and the Eagles. Don’t let lofty comparisons like that make you skeptical either, because this stuff is as addictive as that bag of chips you pick up at a truck stop when you’re really hungry – and maybe that’s just it, that we’re all starved for good, melodic rock. Frontman Mark Sundermeier and his band mates have not only written extremely catchy material, but they also deliver it with conviction and with some exceptional vocals. Right from the start, the harmonies and guitar tones on “The Need” are very Toad-esque and then some of the other standouts are the breezy “Shelter” and “Green Lights,” as well as the rocking “Letter,” which effectively marries fuzzy guitar with some nice driving piano. If you’re into any of the acts mentioned here, you need to do yourself a favor and check out The Trampolines, stat. (self-released 2009)

The Trampolines MySpace Page

  

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