Don McLean

Love Tracks

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Overly slick and dated '80s Nashville production mars this comeback effort by Don McLean. McLean only contributes a handful of original songs -- the rest are fairly standard Nashville filler, although he pulls off the everyman stomper "Love in My Heart" convincingly, and "Can't Blame the Train" rollicks along with some verve. Both tracks made the Top 100 country chart. The obvious intent here was to pitch McLean at the mainstream country market, and while he had the vocal talent to do it and does a credible enough job, McLean's real strength was always his sensitive songwriting, and that unfortunately is in short supply. There are glimpses of vintage McLean in the ballad to a child "What Will the World Be Like" and the lyrically sharp breakup ballad "It's Not Your Fault." On the whole though, McLean seems constrained by Capitol's bid to dress him in a Nashville straitjacket, and the album quickly faded into obscurity. Completists will want to track it down, but it is currently out of print.

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