Edwin McCain is an American singer-songwriter who started in the 1990s. He released a couple of independent studio albums in 1991 and 1993. Subsequently, he signed with Atlantic Records, which was notable because that made his band label-mates with their long-time touring friends in Hootie and the Blowfish.
Since then, McCain has continued making music, as shown by how he released a Christmas studio album in 2019. He remains best known because of his releases from the late 1990s and early 2000s, but his other material is also worth a listen by interested individuals.
Here is our opinion on the 10 best Edwin McCain songs released so far:
10. “Lost in America”
“Lost in America” is the title track from McCain’s seventh studio album. Chances are good interested individuals can guess that it presents a not-so-flattering depiction of things. Specifically, it uses a couple of characters to make its point. One is an immigrant who has managed to make a fair amount of money but is now stuck in a rut.
The other is a suburban housewife trapped within her seemingly successful but ultimately unfulfilling marriage. It is telling that the viewpoint character vows to leave everything behind even though they don’t have a clear idea of where they are going from there.
9. “Truly Believe”
“Truly Believe” is another track from Lost in America. It is a song of reassurance for someone who seems concerned about the viewpoint character. As such, the song has a certain bounce to its sound, which gives it an appropriate sense of resilience despite its mention of darker subjects.
8. “Go Be Young”
“Go Be Young” comes from a much earlier release. Specifically, it was on Messenger, the third of McCain’s studio albums released through Atlantic Records. This isn’t the happiest of songs out there. After all, its viewpoint characters are older individuals consumed by their regrets, which is why they encourage listeners to make the most of their youth rather than wind up the same.
Babylon gets a great deal of cultural interest even though the city has long since faded away. That makes sense because of the influence of Abrahamic religions. After all, the Neo-Babylonian Empire once dominated the Kingdom of Judah, thus causing it to transform into a symbol of imperial power, imperial excess, and punished hubris.
“Babylon” isn’t about the literal city, which is nothing but ruins nowadays. Instead, it is a moody song that plays with the idea of Babylon as a representation of hubris and the punishment awaiting hubris.
6. “Hearts Fall”
“Hearts Fall” is a song from McCain’s 2001 studio album Hearts Fall. It is a wonderful song about a not-so-wonderful situation. The lyrics make it clear that the viewpoint character’s relationship with his significant other is under serious stress. Despite that, he is staying in it for a couple of reasons.
One, he is hopeful that the relationship will change him for the better. Two, he is fearful of hurting her by breaking up with her. On the whole, the song doesn’t exactly give much reason to be optimistic about their long-term prospects.
5. “Walk With You”
There are a lot of songs in which older male singers are ambivalent about the fact their daughters have grown up. “Walk With You” stands out because the viewpoint character expresses happiness for his daughter’s upcoming marriage, which suggests a great deal of confidence in her decision-making. Indeed, he has a memorable line that refutes the notion he is losing his daughter while pointing out that he is also gaining a son in the process. This song has a very mature take on things, which is nice to see.
“Solitude” came from McCain’s first studio album, Honor Among Thieves, in the mid-1990s. It seems like the kind of song inspired by a personal experience. In it, the singer describes a friend who missed out on his teenage years because his mother sent him to a long-term rehab facility. He is surprisingly well-adjusted, but he makes it very clear that he retains some scars because of it. As such, one could interpret “Solitary” as something of a cautionary song. Yes, its intended audience presumably wasn’t made up of the people in a position to do such things. Still, it is important to remember that people grow up.
3. “I Could Not Ask For More”
This is just a very joyful song. It is quite literally the singer expressing his gratitude for his relationship. Better still, it is very enjoyable, thus making it a good choice for people who could use some positive vibes from their music consumption. Besides this, “I Could Not Ask For More” was one of McCain’s songs that became a Top 40 hit in the United States.
2. “See the Sky Again”
Many artists use nature imagery to describe this or that detail about romantic relationships. As a result, it can get somewhat tiresome even though there are good reasons why people continue doing so. Here, the song stands out because seeing the sky again is such a powerful idea that doesn’t get used much, thus enabling it to retain most of its impact.
We take the sky for granted. Even so, we associate the sight of it with joy and with freedom. Thanks to that, the idea of a romantic relationship so uplifting that it is like enabling someone to see the sky again works extraordinarily well.
1. “I’ll Be”
“I’ll Be” is McCain’s single most notable song. It came out as the first single for Misguided Roses in 1998. Subsequently, it peaked at the number five position in the United States, meaning it met with an enthusiastic response in those times. This is a song in which the singer offers words of love and asks for words of love in return.
A couple of things enable it to stand out. One would be the skillful use of wording to achieve greater emotional impact. The other would be its notable emphasis on the long run rather than the short run. Something that gives the song a bit of differentiation because so many of its counterparts are so focused on the immediate.
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