It's tough to fault Edwin McCain for basically making the same album over again, since each has at least a handful of hummable pop rockers as good as his fluke, lighter-raising ballad hit, "I'll Be." Falling between Hootie's bar-brand strum rock and a more aggressive Counting Crows, McCain's honest, sand/honey vocals, along with his knack for a hook, keep this release alive. The material is hit-and-miss, with the ballads and gospelly tracks -- like "Jesus, He Loves Me" -- undoubtedly the strong points and the trashy rockers sounding forced and stiff. The poppy "One Thing Left" strays into jazzy territory and gives some room for McCain's under-utilized sax player, Craig Shields, to open up. McCain missteps on the punky "Get out of This Town," which sounds like lukewarm Billy Idol and sticks out uncomfortably in a disc that should be content to wallow in slow-dance smooch songs like "Kentucky" and "Hearts Fall," the latter of which adds a string section to further tug at the wedding slow-dance crowd. Even a twang rocker like "Sun Will Rise" has hit-single potential in a Train sort of way, sporting a memorably melodic chorus that rhymes "rise," "skies," and "eyes" so simplistically you're almost ashamed to sing along with it. But sing along you will, which makes Edwin McCain a better-than-average strum-rocker with a talent for churning out an album like Far From Over once every few years. No apologies are needed as long as he stays fixed on his strengths and leaves the rock & roll to more competent bands.
Far From Over Review
by Hal Horowitz