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23 October 2003

Don McLean, American Pie [remastered] (Capitol/EMI)
The term one-hit wonder tends to be misleading. In reality, most artists saddled with this label had two hits: the one that became an immortal classic, and its somewhat less successful, not nearly as immortal follow-up. Such is the case with Don McLean, whose "American Pie" overwhelms its little brother, "Vincent", as well as McLean's career and even life. An earnest if sappy folk singer, McLean managed to hit the big time with "Pie" despite his midlevel talent and the song's epic length. So why remaster the whole album now? Since American Pie contains both of McLean's biggest hits, it works effectively as his best-of, and even if the targets in "Pie" today inspire nostalgia rather than reactionary rage (who could get upset about the Byrds or Bob Dylan now?), the feeling remains pertinent in these Limp Bizkit days, and the song, hokey as it may be, is still quite terrific.
      — Brian James

.: posted by Editor 7:51 AM