Don McLean is back with new album ‘Botanical Gardens’. The LP which is the ‘American Pie’ hitmaker’s first release in eight years will be released on Friday. March 23rd. Here we review the 13 track album.
The record opens with the title track and it is a soulful song that reunites the listener with McLean’s vocals after almost a decade away.’Botanical Gardens’ is a great opening as it has a toe-tapping beat and catchy lyrics.
Up next is ‘The Lucky Guy’ which is a bouncy feel-good track that is a real highlight on the record. This song will appeal to a wider audience and will engage younger listeners with it’s strong guitar riffs and all around appeal.
At number 3 is ‘A Total Eclipse Of The Sun’. This is one of my favourite’s on the album. It has strong storytelling lyrics with a carefree vibe and a despite a reference to Christmas it has a real summery feel to it.
Number 4 is slow, laid back ‘Waving Man’. This is a stripped back ballad with touching lyrics and while it’s not entirely to my taste it’s good to hear a change of pace on the so far catchy album. With ‘Waving Man’, McLean slows the pace and it is a welcome addition.
The next track on the record is the beautiful ‘When July Comes’. It’s not really a standout for me on the record but the message about time going so fast strikes a real chord and will no doubt draw in listeners.
The sixth song is ‘You’re All I Ever Need’. This is a heartfelt, piano heavy love ballad and it’s a real standout on the LP. It’s a stunning song that draws you in from the first lyric. It has a stripped back vibe and a lovely message.
At number 7 is the country-rock-pop ‘Rock N Roll Your Baby’. This is my personal favourite on ‘Botanical Gardens’. I just love the vibe and catchy lyrics combined with the toe-tapping beat. It’s a really fun song.
Up next is ‘I’ve Cried All The Tears That I Have’. This is more of a slow jam. It has some great lines and a strong beat but for me it falls a bit flat compared to the bouncier tracks on the record but I’m sure a lot of listeners will sing-a-long to this one.
At number 9 is ‘Ain’t She A Honey’. This is a sexy, sultry slow beat song that is one of my favourites on the LP. It gets stuck in your head after one listen and is a real throwback to the old-school country jams.
The 10th track is ‘The King Of Fools’. I love the beat on this one but it’s not a highlight for me. It takes a little too long to get going for my liking but it has an appeal there but it just takes a few listens.
At number 11 is ‘Grief And Hope’. This is a real highlight of mine on the record. It’s very stripped back and the lyrics are really poignant and really strike a chord with me as I’m sure they will with many listeners.
The 12th track is ‘You’ve Got Such Beautiful Eyes’. I don’t really understand why this slow going number was chosen as the penultimate song on the record I feel it would have been better suited to the middle of the tracklist. It doesn’t really appeal to me but the musical score elevate to a new level.
The album comes to a close with ‘Last Night When We Were Young’ which is a haunting ballad. It has poignant lyrics and it’s a good way to close the LP as it sorts of wraps up the overall vibe of ‘Botanical Gardens’.
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