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McLean - 'My Name'

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Fraser McAlpine | 11:05 UK time, Friday, 12 March 2010


I don't know how the people who made this record ever got through it. I mean I've some idea of how you record a song, and usually it requires several million listens to the same three minutes, adding bits, taking bits away, polishing, until it's finally perfect. I only have to review the thing and by my tally I've clocked up over three hours on the one song so far (not all of it continuous).

And, to be honest, the strain is starting to show. The same four chords around and around, the different spiralling melodies, the chuntery synth...well all I can say is that some songs are built for repetition and some are not. One more play of this and I am going POSTAL.

(Here's the video. Who goes bank robbing in a squeaky leather catsuit?)

Interesting how they really layer on that autotune at the crucial moment, the bit where he claims to want to give you, the most important person in his life and therefore his most precious love, his name. I wonder if that's so the song can't be considered to be legally binding, should McLean's actual girlfriend sue him for non-delivery of ring and promise in the event of his becoming famous with a song in which he promises to marry her.

There would have to be a trial, and in it, McLean would take the unprecedented step of claiming NOT to be the voice on the song. He'd have to sing to the court, in front of a panel of esteemed musicologists (and, let's face it, Simon Cowell), and of course his voice would be all raw and unvarnished. Nothing like the immaculate, plasticated voicebox which made the promise of marriage in the song. And therefore, they'd have to let him off.

If this is indeed the case, it's not necessary. There may be an implied understanding that he means marriage in this song, but all he would need to do legally is hand over his staff badge from McDonalds - assuming he's ever had a job there - and that's the transaction completed. Hell, he can even go down on one knee and sing "I wanna give you my naaaaame" while he does it, if he wants.

Granted it's a lot less romantic, but that's the law for you.

Three starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: March 8th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)


  • Comment number 1.

    "Staff badge" lol...

    But Fraser, big problem here, I´m afraid. You don´t seem to like this track even remotely. Still it´s 3 stars. I know, you told us, it´s not SCIENCE and it´s not EXACT. But your words are exact enough, aren´t they?

    If you´re using the following rating system, then I get it, and I won´t bother you again:

    5 stars = Amazing
    4 stars = Decent
    3 stars = Rubbish
    2 stars = Is This Some Kind of Crap Joke?
    1 star = Helmut Lotti

    In that case I´m with you!

  • Comment number 2.

    I love the review Fraser, really nice touch.. :L

    First thing that struck me about this song is the lack of introduction - it goes straight into the same repeated chord progression for 3 minutes, and as Fraser pointed out... is more than a little dullard, not to mention grating.

    I'd say 3 stars, only because it's sort-of listenable the first time, unlike something chucked out of Jay Sean's albums.

  • Comment number 3.

    wow i think your review is very harsh to be honest.. the track grew on me after a few times of hearing it...what i would say to you is, before writing off this guys 'raw' voice perharps have a listen to the acoustic version off this song. He can quite clearly sing, the producers have however clearly added effects to he's voice. Your silly comments about handing over he's Mcdonalds badge is just childish and actually has nothing to do with reviewing the track.

  • Comment number 4.

    Into the top ten , well done MACCA !!!

  • Comment number 5.

    There's nothing remotely original about this song. If I didn't know music, I would have expected it to be sang by Taio Cruz or Lemar.

  • Comment number 6.

    I actually hate this song. It's just soppy, over-sentimental, generic rubbish.

  • Comment number 7.

    All i can say is there is obviously more than a few thousand people who disagree with most of the comments in this page, as it went into the charts at number 10...i am actually looking forward to hearing more from this singer.

  • Comment number 8.

    "Once something has been done, its been done, so why all this nostalgia, people looking backwards for inspiration, copying the past? Wheres the rock and roll in that? Start something new, do something of your own, live your life now, if y'know what i mean."

    John Ono Lennon
    The Citroen Advert

    Point is, Derulo, Lemar, this guy, Jay Sean and all the rest could all be the same person.

  • Comment number 9.

    You say about four chords being used!! Anyone in music will know that some of the best pop songs of all time have used four chords with the same progression! People appreciated the song for the way it made them fell and went out and got the song which made it successful so for people to slate it, just look at the facts and do your musical home work before you comment on something you have no clue about!As for Autotune...... just look at the states and Jay Sean who sold millions of his singles and smashed out a number one... it works..... people like it and it shows!!! ! Peace out and well done to Mclean!!

  • Comment number 10.

    @ Comment 9,

    I know, but they do sometimes change, for, oooh I dunno... a BRIDGE? MIDDLE EIGHT? And yes while they are the same four chords used throught out the ENTIRE song, they are not articulated in any way except the shimmery sound you hear at the beginning... which can also be heard at the end... and in the chorus... the verses... the brid- oh wait. Need I go on?

    And where is Jay-Sean's number 1 then? Ooh i must hear this and slate it as well as 'Down' and 'Do You Remember'... Hmmm, he doesn't seem to have one. Shocking.

    "just look at the facts and do your musical home work before you comment on something you have no clue about!" Umm yeah, Pot. Kettle. Black.

    2 stars now, it's getting boring hearing this all the time.

  • Comment number 11.

    Down was a no.1 in America, I'm guessing that's where Kai James is coming from.

  • Comment number 12.

    Meh, Jay Sean is an UK act. He really should be able to score a number 1 over here. MInd you, I'm biased because me no likey him.


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