# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Linda Mclean - No Language

  by Malcolm Carter

published: 18 / 7 / 2006

Linda Mclean - No Language
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Engaging and tuneful folk rock on second album from diverse Northern Ontario-based singer-songwriter, Linda McLean

Hailing from Northern Ontario, Linda McLean fills a gap in the female singer/songwriter genre very nicely. Her debut album, ‘Betty’s Room’, was produced by John Whynot who also produces this set and who has worked with Lucinda Williams and Kathleen Edwards. For those who have a fondness for female singer/songwriters there have always been two camps. Those who fall onto the Lucinda Williams side and those who take the softer side. What has been missing is a singer with her feet in both camps. Sheryl Crow for a while seemed to be the best bet for an artist to succeed in being a radio-friendly Lucinda. But the jury’s still out on that one. Then along came Anne McCue, and now Linda McLean. ‘All Around’, the fourth song on this album is the one that shows that Linda is the main contender for filling that gap. ‘All Around’ is made for blasting out of radios. Melodic, and with Linda’s always strong vocals it’s a highlight on the album. It’s one of a few songs which were written solely by Linda; for the most part the songs were a partnership between Linda who wrote the lyrics and Andy McLean, her husband, who composed the music with Linda. The exception is the last song, ‘Burn The Boats’, which is a sole Andy McLean composition and a lovely way to end the album, a wall of shining, chiming guitars on a ballad which also goes some way to confirming what a fantastic voice Linda has. It’s pointless coming up with comparisons when reviewing Linda’s work. It seems everyone from Joni Mitchell through to Lynn Miles taking in Jann Arden along the way find their way into every review (and now this one too!) but that’s got to be more of a geographical thing, for Linda really is in a class of her own when it comes to her vocals. It would appear from the liner notes that all the vocals, including the backing vocals and harmonies, are all Linda’s. No other artist is listed as supplying vocals and if it is all Linda then there is no doubt she can handle anything when it comes to singing. This is one of those rare albums where you can press play on any track and not be disappointed. The title track, ‘No Language’, the following song, ‘What I’m After’; strong melodies abound, the playing is immaculate, especially from Andy McLean who contributes outstanding guitar work throughout, and Linda’s lyrics are always interesting. As with all good lyrics there are often different ways of interpreting them, ‘No Language’ could be addressing a lost love or the passing of someone close. It’s not often said these days but there really isn’t a dud song on this album. It’s the kind of album that makes you wonder why ‘next’ or ‘skip’ buttons are a fixture on CD players. This is not an album where the songs take a number of plays to register; the melodies are really strong and coupled with Linda’s compelling vocal skills and the superb playing it’s an album that, if tuneful folk-rock is appealing to you, you will find more than rewarding. Quite simply it’s got to be one of the best albums in its field.

Track Listing:-
1 Love nor Money
2 How Strong Is Your Sorrow
3 Calling
4 All Around
5 Almost Alien
6 No Language
7 What I'm After
8 Clouds and Rain
9 Lives Change
10 Only One
11 Amsterdam Canals
12 Burn the Boats

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