Don McLean

River of Love

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In his liner notes to his first new studio album in quite a while, Don McLean recalled his earliest efforts to make music, when he was 15 in 1960. It is an appropriate memory, since on the album he seems to be trying to write and sing the kind of light, romantic pop tunes typical of the pre-rock 1950s. While the tracks have blues and rock elements, the swooping strings turn the clock back, and the simple sentiments McLean sings of cement the retro impression. There is a sense that the singer has found domestic contentment and religious faith after a rough period. But this happy state is expressed in terms so idealized and superficial it's hard to credit.

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