Popular for years for his songwriting, Michael McLean
pushes the envelope as he sings his own material on the entire release Michael Sings McLean
. For years, he admits in his liner notes for the album, he was afraid of "embarrassing the songs" by singing them. It's true that his voice doesn't have a very big range, and it certainly lacks the polished sound of a trained vocalist, so some risk was indeed involved for McLean
. However, this album wonderfully captures the love he has for the songs he's had the joy of bringing to life. All 18 tracks are familiar from previous releases, but his voice singing them is something new to the fans who haven't yet purchased his performance video An Evening With Michael McLean. Everything is kept simple on this release. Nearly all the tracks are just McLean
and a piano. A few add a guitar, cello, flute, or background vocals. He also intersperses some dialogue in a few of the songs, most notably "Which Part Is Mine and "From God's Arms to My Arms to Yours." During "Which...," he shares his wife's blunt opinion of the song and how he responded, while in "From God's Arms..." he shares the touching story of the genesis in an unmarried young woman's difficult decision to give up her baby for adoption. The result is an album that touches, inspires, and definitely requires a box of tissues handy. A must for McLean
's fans, and for those interested in hearing a songwriter's perspective of his own songs.