Essay, Research Paper: Edwin McCain


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As you sit back and listen to Edwin McCain's first album, Honor Among Theives,
McCain's incorporation of all kinds of music such as rock, pop, jazz, and blues
will surely amaze you. This is consistant with his second album Misguided Roses,
which incorporates the same standards. These two albums provide a great mix of
acoustic rock with a hint of jazz and blues. McCain was successful with his
first album which included the hit song "Solitude." He was even more
successful with his more recent album which includes the former number one song
"I'll Be." Through his lyrical genius and incorporation of different
styles of music, Edwin McCain has risen to be one of the best well- rounded
musicians today. What attracts a person most are the lyrics that Edwin McCain
writes. He writes about life's good times and also the struggles in which people
endure. In one of his songs, McCain writes about a man in New Orleans who lost
his father and a week later lost his wife. In the song, McCain goes on to talk
about life's struggles and what we as humans have to do to deal with these pains
(Honor Among Thieves). He shares his view of how life wears us down when he
sings, "Like a stone in a stream, life smooths all our ridges 'till we
barely make a ripple anymore" (Honor Among Thieves), which is from his song
"Sorry to a Friend." McCain's clever lyrics portray his views on young
people such as, "Youth goes hand in hand with foolish pride," and his
love-as-a-war view saying, "The blood that was spilled in the heartache
before left road maps of scars that I never, never could ignore" (Misguided
Roses). Singing these lyrics with his soulful voice with a slight touch of
Southern charm, McCain makes you believe every word that soars from his heart.
In addition to McCain's amazing lyrics, his musical skills are also very fine
tuned. When compared to Dave Matthews, a well know acoustic rock star, McCain
measures up and even exceeds Matthews' talents. The two artists both have
superior guitar skills, yet Matthews lacks in understandable lyrics and vocal
quality. McCain writes songs about life's ups and downs while Matthews leaves
the listener wondering what is trying to be portrayed. Matthews' voice is
piercing and almost shrill while McCain's soothing tone and and unbelievable
range leaves a listener breathless. Matthews ,like McCain, has his own style of
music, but is limited in the style of his songs. McCain uses different jazz
feels and then hits you up with a blues feel for the very next song. McCain is
classified as an acoustic rock performer which may do him an injustice. Someone
who listens to blues would love McCain's raspy voice and the mellow tones of the
alto sax. A jazz enthusiast could definately appreciate the arrangement of the
music and the melodic sound of the trumpet and tenor saxophone. Edwin McCain is
no doubt a well- rounded musician with his usage of different styles of music
and his heart-felt lyrics. He brings his love of blues and jazz into his own
style of acoustic rock. He writes about life and how he sees it like when he
sings, "It's not all that hard to survive. You take the good and the bad
and the time in between. It let's us know that we're alive" (Honor Among
Thieves). These words are another example of McCain's view on life. Music is
about feeling and McCain puts one hundred and ten percent feeling in his music.
For example, in his most recent hit song "I'll Be" when he says
"The strands in your eyes that color them wonderful stop me and steal my
breath" (Miguided Roses). This is why Edwin McCain is one of the best
all-around musicians today.
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