Title - 'Botanical Gardens'
Artist - Don McLean
For those not in the know, Don McLean (72) is one of America’s most enduring singer-songwriters and forever associated with his classic hits “American Pie”, “Vincent (Starry Starry Night)”, “Castles in the Air”, “And I Love You So” and “Crying”.
Since first hitting the charts in 1971, Don has amassed over 40 gold and platinum records world-wide and, in 2004, was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.
His songs have been recorded by artists from every musical genre, most notably Madonna‘s No. 1 recording of “American Pie” in 2000 and George Michael’s version of “The Grave” in 2003, sung in protest at the Iraq War.
Now, in 2018, a new chapter starts as Don McLean releases his new album Botanical Gardens on March 23rd, 2018.
1: 'Botanical Gardens'
2: 'The Lucky Guy'
3: 'A Total Eclipse of the Sun'
4: 'The Waving Man'
5: 'When July Comes'
6: 'You're All I Ever Had'
7: 'Rock and Roll Your Baby'
8: 'I've Cried All the Tears That I Have'
9: 'Ain't She a Honey'
10: 'The Kings of Fools'
11: 'Grief and Hope'
12: 'You've Got Such Beautiful Eyes'
13: 'Last Night When We Were Young'
His 19th studio album, and his first in 8 years, Botanical Gardens was recorded in Nashville, but inspired by the Sydney gardens of the same name.
As he puts it, “The inspiration for the project started years ago when I would walk in the beautiful gardens in Sydney Australia near the Opera House. I would dream young dreams and it was a comfort and an inspiration. I was always young inside, like we all are, and I felt it again there.”
The joyous, upbeat title track opens up this rather wonderful new album in perfect style, and is backed seamlessly by the guitar-heavy, rock and roll duo of both 'The Lucky One' and then 'A Total Eclipse of the Sun.' One of my favourite bouts of storytelling here, it's followed by the true tale (one assumes) of 'The Waving Man', with another gem, the stoic piano ballad 'When July Comes' along next.
Another piano ballad, albeit more dedicated to his past lyrical memories, more melodic, more cute, is 'You're All I Ever Had', which is followed by a quick change of pace on the guitar-led beauty 'Rock and Roll Your Baby.' The mid-tempo twang of 'I've Cried All the Tears That I Have' could well be a decades old embedded country riff, and is backed by the laid back, summer sunshine vibe of 'Ain't She a Honey' ("Ain't she a ripper, with a buckle and zipper").
The profound 'The Kings of Fools' is up next and sees McLean slip back into his old lyrically comfortable shoes, with 'Grief and Hope' following. Then comes the best ballad on the album by a long shot, the truly stunning 'You've Got Such Beautiful Eyes', before the album rounds out with another piano ballad, the contagiously sentimental 'Last Night When We Were Young.'
CD Purchase Link
Don McLean @ Facebook