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Don Mclean Don Mclean
Album: Botanical Gardens
Label: BMG
Tracks: 13

Don Mclean seems to have been making music for a lifetime and when checking the dates, I realise that he has been. This album being his 33rd production. I also checked my own diary and realised that I saw him in concert in 1984. Longevity is certainly one of his greatest attributes. Having recently celebrated his 72nd birthday, he obviously still loves making music and bringing joy to his fans' lives.

Arguably best known for "American Pie" and "Vincent" he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 2004 after making his musical debut in 1964 and recording his first solo album in 1969.

Don's music has always offered a somewhat pot pourri of genres and this latest album is no different veering from folk to rock and then on to country. The latter being rather influenced by the venue of the recording for the new album, Nashville! Because of this eclectic mix it is impossible to pigeon hole Don. As I start to write this review, I have "Rock n Roll Your Baby" blasting out and it is this type of song that I feel best suits his voice. It has a real "live" feel to it.

The opening and title track sets the scene for what is to follow. "Botanical Gardens" perfectly suiting Don's voice and style. "Last Night When We Were Young" is the final track on the album and takes the pace way down. Don's voice in this particular song has more than a touch of Glenn Frey about it. In between there is a real mix of music, all of which is good and some superb with great backing and some outstanding orchestration.

"The Lucky Guy" sums up Don's life although it is more about real talent than luck that has got him this far. "Waving Man" is straight from the Nashville stable.

There is very little that is new that can be said about Don McLean and his music. He continues to make quality records with his natural laid back style and thoughtful lyrics. If you have liked any of his previous offerings, you will most certainly enjoy this one too. A real "top class" act!

Rory Stanbridge