Michael McLean

You're Not Alone

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In his debut collection of originals, songwriter Michael McLean presents songs he wrote in response to everyday situations he's encountered in his life. The liner notes include the stories of each of the songs, which add to the tugs on the heartstrings that the songs accomplish on their own. McLean admits he doesn't consider himself a singer, so he relies upon others' gifts to give his songs wings, and it works. The album was recorded at the height of synthesizer overuse in the '80s, so some of the musical tracks seem contrived. However, the singers carry the songs effectively. McLean touches on topics familiar to the faithful and unfaithful alike. Like the times we feel comforted. Or the times we turn an embarrassing moment into a fun memory. The times we're in love. Most touching of all is "Kelly Marie," his loving words to a friend who lost an infant shortly after her premature birth. McLean does sing one song, and that's his tribute to fatherhood in "The Father Song." The words are so touching, it really wouldn't matter how talented the singer was. McLean's self-deprecation aside, the words touch the heart: "...and the time to say 'I love you, dad' is here/But how do you write those kinds of things to your dad in a letter?/Things you never took the time to tell him face to face." An enjoyable listen, but not nearly as polished in sound as his later releases.

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